Lord Bassam of Brighton has confirmed that Tony McNulty, the Home Office Minister for Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing, will shortly meet Mr Jeremy Dear, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, to discuss the problems. Lord Bassam made the announcement in the House of Lords last Wednesday after they began to discuss plans to review the rules on street photography.
The House also wishes to contact the Chief Police Officers and the National Policing Improvement Agency about the provision of national guidelines for use by police forces.
Lord Bassam said: "Police officers have the discretion to ask people not to take photographs for public safety or security reasons. However, the taking of photographs in a public place is not subject to any rules or statute."
His reply came after Lord Rosser aired his worries about photographers being challenged by police and private security guards when taking photographs in public places. He also raised the issue that photographers are sometimes even filmed, something Jeremy Dear of the National Union of Journalists has previously talked about. Sections of the letter he wrote to the Home Secretary raising concerns about the filming of photographers and reporters by the Forward Intelligence Team during demonstrations can be found on ePHOTOzine .
The private security industry was also discussed by the House as Lord Mawhinney said the private industry have a slightly more cavalier attitude than the police.
In response Lord Bassam said they may have a meeting to discuss the matter further as he believes there is an issue here.
Concerns regarding the hysteria surrounding the photographing of children were also raised by the Countess of Mer. She said: "All of us who have children or grandchildren like to photograph them. Is it not time that the hysteria that has built up was quelled?"
Her questions come after a father was prevented from taking a photograph of his children at a fairground due to a womens worries about her children appearing on the internet.
Lord Bassam agreed that something needs to be done to to keep a sense of proportion. He said: "By and large, most people do, but one does hear of these irritating cases."