In yet another clash between the police and photographers taking pictures in public places, a photographer claims a police community support officer (PCSO) ordered him to delete several of his pictures and told him he could not photograph people without their permission.
Photographer John Kelly is enrolled on a photography course at Blackpool and Fylde college and was out seeking shots for a competition entitled Blackpool Life, organised by Blackpool Council. Mr Kelly says the officer insisted that he delete several images.
This is yet another case highlighted by the Bureau of Freelance Photographers in its continuing campaign to protect photographers’ rights. It seems that photographers are increasingly being stopped by police from taking pictures in public places, and details of this latest incident appear in the latest (March) issue of the BFP’s monthly Market Newsletter.
An increasing number of members have sought help from the BFP after facing what they consider harassment. In many cases, police are using stop and search powers without reasonable cause to prevent photographers – both amateur and professional – from taking pictures.
“The simple fact,” says John Tracy of the Bureau of Freelance Photographers, “is that police do not have the right, except in exceptional circumstances, to stop people from taking pictures in public places.”
For more information about the BFP, please visit their website.