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just had an interesting, if disappointing and somewhat frustrating, chat with our local Neighbourhood police. The recent sunny weather brought out the local ingrates and our home has been plagued by various levels of intimidation over the last few days.
I had decided to take some photographic evidence of the main culprits, in the hope that the local police might be able to identify them and have a quiet chat with them...
I have been told quite categorically that I mustn't try and take photographs of any individual directly. This could lead to me being victimised e.g. as a `paedophile'
Apparently if I take a picture of, say, my back gate, and some individuals are captured on camera or on cctv inadvertently then this can be used, but targetting an individual is completely out of bounds.
So beware of using your skills to try and bring anyone to justice
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I am sure the police are right in saying that overtly filming them will perhaps serve to intensify a situation. I think they are just giving you sensible advice on the basis that they understand the mentality of the idiots causing trouble and you will no doubt become more of a target as they probably will only see the filming as a direct challenge and they probably do not fear the consequences of being filmed either due to our spineless court system. It is more a case of a sad indictment of our judicial system and police powers (or lack of) than bad advice from the police.
You mustn't infringe their human rights!
I don't know who gave you the categorical information that you can't take photographs of an individual, but I think you will find you have been misinformed.
You are perfectly free to take photographs of anyone, including children, as far as the law is concerned. The only caveat is that if someone violently objects, you might run into a "causing a breach of the peace" argument, and you might do well to back down, but don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the right to photograph individuals.
I'm sure you'll get lots of replies on this, as there have been many similar threads in the past.
(Also, think of the many times that the police put out an appeal for "anyone with photographs to come forward" when they're trying to identify rioters etc.)
When my son was playing for a local football team, he was 5 at the time, we were informed that no one was allowed to take either photographs or video of the children, even your own. Again, this was pointed out that it prevented paedophiles coming to the games to pray on young children. I was somewhat surprised that parents or relatives could not take photos, even of my own son at a football game, especially as everyone knew me.
Cats, they can't stop you taking photos of people as you wouldn't be breaking the law, they can advise you that it may upset those people which is what they have done. Rogerfry is spot on.
Always useful to know your rights as photographer. You can download Uk Photographers' Rights from here.
I think the key word is 'musn't' rather than 'can't'. Maybe, had the officer chose his words better and did infact use the word 'musn't' he would have made the situation clearer had he said 'shouldn't' or that it was 'not advisable' - we are getting into semantics a little. From the OP I dont see that he was told he could not lawfully film them but was sensibly advised that direct targetting could inflame the situation and bring about more victimisation. Sensible advice in my opinion although, as I said earlier, a sad indictment of the level of protection offered from the judicial system and the scant policing available.
Yep they aren't saying you're not allowed legally to take the photos only that it might provoke them more and make them label you as a paedophile.
Are the police doing anything?
The football match situation is slightly different because whoever owns the football field can set their own rules.
the guys I was talking to were Neighbourhood police. If I caught it right they were talking about taking photos for prosecution purposes....without specific authority to target someone the images would not have been admissable in court and, of course, the other point was to raise the warning that people easily stir up trouble and spread rumours about misuse of photography.
Seems there is little we can do other than report incidents..this increases the risk level and determines where the scant resources are targeted. These guys have a team of 8/9 covering 100sq miles...urgent calls are taken by another part of the forces who have two cars for the whole Ards peninsula.... a good 30mn drive from top to bottom..
We're looking at CCTV cameras and security grilles....what a world we live in
Quote: Are the police doing anything?
they're attending a local `youth forum' tomorrow evening where anti-social behaviour is on the agenda...if they get persistent trouble the most they can do is speak to the offenders and send a letter to their parents (which they treat as firelighters, apparently ).or give a £60 fine.
I would talk to some proper police not traffic wardens.
Quote: I would talk to some proper police not traffic wardens.
a little unfair I think...the 999 Pcs offered little help...they turned up too late (1st call took 1hr 40mns; 2nd on next day 20mns) to witness anything...
I'm not sure how they can say that an accidental photo of your garden gate that catches someone in the act, or a still from cctv is admissible but a photo you take deliberately showing the person(s) in the act isn't. Are you building up a log of the activities, dates, times, photos of the damage if there is any?
There have been several stories about householders who have apprehended burglars and then phoned the police.
One was told to take the offender's name and let him go. Another was told that officers would soon be round to collect the offender but two hours later nothing had happened. The householder phoned the police again but this time he told them that he'd just shot the burglar. The police turned up within 5 minutes.
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