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Review of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

Police will need reasonable suspicion to stop and search anyone.

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A pilot scheme in which police officers will be required to have “reasonable suspicion” before they can stop and search someone under an anti-terror legislation will be trialled in four London boroughs.
The Metropolitan Police Authority reported the changes in a tactical review of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Originally Sections 44 (1) and (2) of the act allowed uniformed officers to stop and search people and vehicles without any reasonable grounds to conduct the search. Now by way of actions designated under Section 43, officers are required to have reasonable suspicion. However, if an officer is in a place of iconic nature or of key strategic importance then the use of Section 44 powers are still allowed. Section 44 can also still be used on a prevent and deter basis through a directive by the Management Board or tasked by the Security Review Committee. Although the report says unless there's a significant change in threat this will be used sparingly.
The new three-layered approach will be implemented in Southwark, Brent, Newham and Tower Hamlets during May with plans to roll the new scheme out further in the summer.
Do you think the changes will help photographers? Leave your comments below.

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riprap007 15 1.6k 37 England
7 May 2009 11:58AM
So long as the 'catch all' clause of Section 44 remains in force then so does the excuse to harass photographers, (particularly Austrian tourists taking images of bus depots!). This is a watery sop.

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Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
7 May 2009 12:24PM

Quote:However, if an officer is in a place of iconic nature or of key strategic importance then the use of Section 44 powers are still allowed

So what, any tourist location, any transport hub, station, motorway....
7 May 2009 8:21PM
So, taking a photo of an iconic or key strategic importance could have me searched or even detained?
I can't take pictures of; or have anything in the background of...Aircraft, airports,ships,harbours,bus/train stations, council buildings,government installations,power stations,churches,roads,communication/power lines,reservoirs,statues,war memorials.
Well, i'll just go to-
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alan-turnbull/secret.htm and open up Google Earth.
andytvcams 17 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
8 May 2009 12:15AM
Its just another cop out.
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
8 May 2009 1:38AM
No it's not. It's the Government pretending to do something that is actually completely meaningless. Like deleting innocent people's DNA records after TWELVE YEARS.
8 May 2009 8:07PM
I feel sorry for the state police who will be even more confused than ever - it would appear that they can't cope with picture taking now never mind having to make a decision.. wot does 'iconic' mean anyway? Little pictures on a computer screen?

Adjusting my cloth cap I strolls away to change my nmae to Mr G Earth
9 May 2009 4:14AM
All these bulls*** regulations that have been quickly rushed in under the umbrella of "terrorism" to make us all "safe" .. Yeah right! All these regulations just end up being mis-used by the police to harass regular everyday law abiding citizens for doing the most mundane everyday activities, like say, taking a photograph. These days everyone is SO paranoid about having their building photographed it is so pathetic. As pointed out by markysparky.. Just go open Google Earth.. Now there is a serious privacy breach!
discreetphoton Plus
15 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
9 May 2009 4:55PM
I would imagine that London, being an iconic location, will see no change in the way things are done at present.
Britman 13 1.7k England
10 May 2009 9:42AM
This isn't going to make a blind bit of difference. What the hell is reasonable suspicion anyway.
Some cop sees you taking snap of the London eye and suspects you to be on recon for some fictional terrorist group.

These laws have very little to do with stopping terrorist, but are used more to keep you and I under control. We the people are the number 1 threat to those in power.
phil'em 17 3 1 Christmas Island
10 May 2009 1:36PM
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen" opening line of George Orwell’s ‘ 1984’
There are approximately 4.2 Million CCTV cameras in this country increasing at the rate of 300 per day, we have over 20% of the worlds CCTV cameras and set to double to nearly 9.0million by 2018. It is estimated you are caught on some 300 cameras per day, yet have they obtained your permission? We have as a Society, sleep walked and become a centralised controlled Neo-Stalinist state, under the smoke screen of anti-terrorism legislation and so called health and safety concerns. Look how many signs there now are saying no photography, or you need to fill in this, or that form, freedom of choice is fast being eroded away; I strongly suspect we will all be required to carry a licence to own a camera soon.
cadishead 12 3 United Kingdom
12 May 2009 9:15AM
Good point about the camera licence phil'em! I have recently started to carry my RPS and BFFP membership cards and my business card at all times when doing anything vaguely photographic. I reckon that most international or urban terrorist wouldn't bother to pay out for membership to bona fide photography organisations or a half decent camera.

I think the cards together with my driving licence should be enough to identify me as a tog.

I am not at all paranoid, but I think some of the 'jobsworths' and law enforcers I might meet could be!
13 May 2009 10:02PM
I myself was wrongly arrested under section 41 of the terrorism act 2000. I feel the arrest came about as a direct result of my attempting to expose this corrupt governments cover up of Jill Dando's murder to the media. http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2009/02/dando-cover-up-gets-more-sinister.html

Although the Counter Terrorist Unit could not find any evidence whatsoever linking me to terrorism, quite the opposite in fact, the local police took it upon themselves to enter into a course of action of complete defamation of my character, and went so far as to put my own family and my life in danger, with the assistance of the local media. Effectively ruining my life, and that of my immediate family, this has impacted on my gaining further work as well, all undertaken in a vain attempt to try and justify their unlawful actions against me in the first place. Typical police view would be “If we cant make the terrorism charges stick, fabricate other lesser charges, to help justify our actions!”

Back on subject, if we are no longer allowed to photograph the police, then maybe I would not be here today, this photo taken by Coventry Evening Telegraph probably saved my life! s632.photobucket.com/albums/uu45/madbomberjones/?action=view&current=Howtogetawaywithattemptedmurder101.jpg

If the police indeed have nothing to hide; then why do we need the new law? Is it not mainly members of the public, who are the ultimate victims of terrorist attacks in this country? Maybe they should pass a law, preventing big brother from spying on us with so many cameras, in case the footage should fall in the hands of would be terrorists. If a terrorist wants pictures they will ultimately get them, if anyone was that desperate to get photos of anything in this country, they would be able to do it discreetly, or just browse the net for the appropriate image of a possible terrorist target.

My alternative to getting the image you want, would be to stand in front of a CCTV camera covering the area you would like an image of (not difficult in London), and then demand copies of footage which they hold on you (with the intended background) under the data protection act. So the next time you see a police officer unlawfully hit a G20 protester for example, and you happen to be a Journalist, just go stand next to the officer, and do the above Grin

See how long it will take for the law to change back, if everyone did this as an alternative!

Some more about my own personal plight below



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