Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell started he early day motion calling for clearer rights for photographers.
Over 200 MPs have signed an early day motion fighting against the restrictions imposed on photography in public places.
The motion, which was started in the House of Parliament by Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell, calls for photographers to be allowed to “enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion” and encourages the “spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people's art.“
It comes as a direct response to recent incidents where people have been stopped from taking photographs in public with authority figures falsely claiming that it is illegal for them, or other members of the public to be photographed without written consent. These 'rules' have been falsely enforced by actions such as ordering the deletion of images and the confiscation of cameras, memory cards and other equipment.
Outrage was further fuelled by the launch of an advertising campaign asking members of the public to report any “odd-looking” person taking photographs with the underlying implication that the photographers could be terrorists in disguise. This caused some confusion between the police force, particularly PSCOs, about the laws surrounding street photography and many hobbyists were stopped and/or searched unnecessarily.
National Union of Journalists General Secretary Jeremy Dear recently staged a protest to voice the concerns of photographers and make a stand against the harassment they are increasingly facing from force members.
MPs are now joining in the fight hoping that signing the motion will result in a clearer set of rules about what is and is not allowed in street photography.
A meeting between the police and representative associations has been scheduled for the near future.
More information about the motion including a list of supporters can be found here.