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Metropolitan Police Federation show support for photographers

The Metropolitan Police Federation believe the new anti-terrorist legislations could stop lawful activities.

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The Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) believe the new anti-terrorist legislation is “poorly-drafted” and that it “could be used to justify unwarranted interference in their lawful activities.
Concerns were raised over section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 which talks about: “An individual who elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s forces, a member of any of the intelligence services, or a constable...which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
The MPF believe this statement is open to wide interpretation: “How, for example, will it be expected to apply in practice to the 2012 Olympics, which will be both a photo-event par excellence and subject to an intense security operation?”

They continued: “Does the law mean tourists are going to be rounded up and arrested for taking suspicious photos of iconic scenes around the capital? That will work wonders for the international reputation of the London Bobby and for the city as a whole as a welcoming destination.

If there is a terrorist attack in the capital, will the media concentrate their efforts on fire and ambulance crews and prudently avoid broadcasting or publishing pictures of police officers, rendering them invisible to the public?”
The MPF also supports the Early Day Motion that was made by MP Austin Mitchell for a photography code to be introduced, which the MPF believe should be clear and easily understood by any photographer, police officer, civilian support officer or warden. The MPF believe the code should be drawn up by both the Home Office and the professional bodies representing photographers and the police.

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Iain_Proudfoot 13 40 2 Ireland
20 Feb 2009 12:33PM
I am pleased that the MPF are adopting this stance towards this important issue of liberty.

The MPF represent the constable ranks and I am confident that they support the pragmatic, common-sense approach to this issue that we all wish to see. An approach which is often overlooked by the lawyers and senior police officers, clouded in their self-importance, who are concerned in the formation of the laws that seem to be ludicrously designed and thought-out!

I for one welcome the MPF's overt support.

Best wishes, Iain.

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SiPat 11 4 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2009 2:16PM
Having seen some of the videos on youtube and the reactions and authoritarian attitudes of not just the full time police officers but also the community officers (who don't even have any powers), it makes me wonder why the MPF don't start an educational programme to teach bobbies how to respond to members of the public.

After all, beat officers don't act on their own initiative, they work according to non-legalese briefings based on interpretations of statute issued either directly by the Home Office or by the Chief Constables (all 44 of whom are members of ACPO) .

In any case, why pick on those carrying conspicuously obvious photographic equipment (SLR, dSLR) when all you need for covert photography are dinky little cameras which you can hide in the palm of your hand. Even small mobile phones can take decent pictures without the use of flash in daylight hours.
Parsec1 13 22
22 Apr 2009 4:15PM
No 'terrorist' is going to want to be seen photographing a possible target. Even MI5 have confirmed that it does'nt make much sense to realise that.
So its another excuse to make 'plod' rise above his station and force more repression on the general public as is most of the anti terrorist act .ie cameras in dustbins etc etc et Gestapo !
Just Jas 17 26.3k 1 England
25 Apr 2009 2:36PM

Quote:In any case, why pick on those carrying conspicuously obvious photographic equipment (SLR, dSLR) when all you need for covert photography are dinky little cameras which you can hide in the palm of your hand. .......

Because it is easy to pick on them rather than more discrete camera users!

Like it is easy to pick on motorists.........

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