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Photographers' Trafalgar Square protest: Home Office statement

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. 3rdQueens

    3rdQueens Member

    Yes, I do realise this, but there several means of ID that can be used in such cases, but, because passports along with utility bills etc., are common place, they are the first and most common forms of proof of ID or ABODE.
  2. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    This is the lounge... it happens :D
  3. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    No it's not, but it still happens. :rolleyes: :D
  4. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Not in the lounge? How did I get here then? Has someone swapped the door labels again?
  5. Smudger79

    Smudger79 Well-Known Member

    I like big buts and I can not lie
    You other brothers can't deny
    That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
    And a round thing in your face


  6. Smudger79

    Smudger79 Well-Known Member

    Hi KP, welcome to the forum, it's interesting to see someone with differing views from the majority, and I like it!
    It's good to challenge people's viewpoints and perception otherwise we don't progress. :)

    When people first started posting about these issues I was very much in the same boat as you. I have never been stopped, I live in a northern town so don't get down to photograph london ever and so was under the impression that a lot of this was being blown out of proportion. I was of the opinion that the photographers must have been antagonising the police (in some cases they were) and we were only hearing one side of the story, the photographers, which made me think they were leaving out the part where they get aggressive or something.
    However, as time passed and I read more and more stories, it became quite evident, that the police were using Section 44 as a way of stopping phootographers, depsite the fact that the law states that they must have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is engaged in terrorist activity. Photographing a building, even if it is a sensitive one, cannot really be described as truly suspicious, terrorist activity can it? Especially when you consider the contradiction that the police do not consider people with compact cameras or mobile phone cameras suspicious, only people with dSLR or "professional" looking equipment. How far do we go, no one is allowed to LOOK at the building because we might be "casing the joint"? Anyone caught with a notebook and pen outside the building will be arrested as they could be making notes on the security staff?
    Not only that ECHR have ruled that use of this law (s44) is ILLEGAL and breaches our human rights.
    So at this point our own government treat photography as a suspicious activity and even when the higher power says it is illegal to do so, they ignore that say nothing has changed and are now appealing the judgment.

    All conspiracy theories aside, what is starting to worry me most about all of this, is the failure of the government to listen and then act on these concerns. All the proper arguments have been made, the European Courts have even ruled on it, yet nothing is changing, the same laws are being used and misused by ill informed pseudo-authority types, and yet the government does nothing.

    Considering that this is supposed to be a democratic country where the government serves it's people, these recent events only go to highlight that government serves itself, not us. And worse of all, they do this under the prestense of making us safer, by restricting our personal freedoms. I wonder why Google weren't arrested under Section 44 as they drove their streetview car around london? Nothing to do with the fact they are massive global corporation is it? ;)
    Restricting photography will not suddenly mean that terrorist attacks and threats will stop and nor will it even help, ESPECIALLY when it is only dSLR cameras that are restricted.

    I beleive that it's the governments impotence over the issue and the many many contradictions and inconsistencies in the applications of this law that people now want it clarified and/or stopped. There is still no accountability for the security staff or PSCOs that waste everyones time with false statements of aggression and accusations of terrorism toward a photographer. Nor is there any accountability for police officers over the ILLEGAL detention of photographers, when even the MET Chief has stated that photographers should not be treated as inherently suspicious and S44 should not be used to detain them.

    I also ramble when engrossed in deep conversation so apologies for that!! :eek:

  7. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    You might be surprised how many people I've come across who don't have a passport, driving licence (even I refuse to change my old paper one for a photo ID job) or bank accounts or indeed much in the way of current utility bills. As for jobs, I have a P45 I've paid tax, and a working NI number, good enough for my last employer, good enough for you company XYZ /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    I don't think in my 52 years I've been ever ended up having to prove my ID to anyone and nor will I do, even if asked by the police, unless I've actually broken the law. As for photographers having to carry ID to show to the police.... MASSIVE Raspberry with knobs on :D

    I've finished with this deluded rant and will exit to the utility room and clean the guinea pigs out.
  8. 3rdQueens

    3rdQueens Member

    Hi Owen.
    I agree with what you say whole heartedly, and I actually do agree with the majority of comments left here. As I read more and more of these reports of stop and search under s44, I still have this feeling that the whole story is not being told, but then again, I might be reading to much in to them, but, its my experience that Its a natural reaction to react in an aggressive/antagonistic manor, be it physical or verbal, when we are challenged for what we think is no good reason. Something has to be done to stop our civil rights being eroded, with that, I really do agree, but, all I have been trying to say is, in my opinion, there is no use what so ever, in being deliberately bloody minded and antagonistic towards those who are left to make their own interpretation of the law, mainly due to lack of training and communication, as this only makes them react with further bloody mindedness and before you know it, the sh*t has hit the fan and we are all covered with the same smelly brown stuff and nobody gets anywhere, apart from the onlookers who now have something that has broken up their totally boring day. More training in matters of the law for those that have to enforce it would be a great start, along with some coaching with interpersonal skills which very few people will admit they need.
    Perhaps all photographers should declare themselves Atheists, no religion, no problems, well, maybe not so many.
  9. Smudger79

    Smudger79 Well-Known Member

    Oh, completely agree. There is no point whatsoever in antagonising the people involved, it helps no ones case but the police's. Being civil is the key to walking away from these situations, I firmly believe.

    And yes, retraining is what I was referring to when I talked about accountability. In my opinion, the PSCOs, Security Guards and Police Officers that are falling foul of this law must be retrained, and if there are repeat occurences from the same person then disciplinary action should be followed.

    But this is the entire reason for the protest and the forumite's strong feelings, because if I dare to argue with the Police Officer over these matters, the likelihood is I will get arrested, even though I haven't broken law, and they have no real reason to suspect that I am breaking the law and I am only defending my honour - there is nothing right about this and this is where the erosion of civil liberties comes into it. I should have the right to be able to give an account of myself in front of the police without being arrested as a terrorist or even under the Public Order act (another law that I believe is far too vaguely written and used by police for generic non-descript arrests) based on a security guards accusation that I was acting suspiciously or aggressively, without them being able to provide proof.

    And also don't get me wrong, I do support our police and in general believe that they do a stand up job. In some matters such as this, however, they are starting to overstep their authority and this needs to be curbed sooner rather than later, before it's too late.


  10. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Come again? :D
  11. 3rdQueens

    3rdQueens Member

    Hi ermintrude.
    Oh dear, I feel you have taken my atheist suggestion a little more serious than anyone was supposed to. I should have known not to have mentioned religion and politics in the same breath. Only trying to make light of it all.

    Hi Owen.
    Your absolutely right, and I remember when the powers to be gave the MET or a group formed by the MET (can't remember the groups name), the right to stop and search anyone who happens to have dark skin and looking suspicious, it took years to get that group abolished (THEY HAVE BEEN HAVEN'T THEY? makes wonder some times). I really do support peaceful demonstration, and long may that right go on. What always worries me is, the small element that don't know their aperture from their a**hole that slips into the demo with the sole intent on trouble, and that doesn't take long. That is something that none of us can afford to happen. Hopefully, with time and common sense, along with open dialogue from all parties, s44 will be reviewed. Lets hope its sooner rather than later. There is an election on the horizon, so maybe common sense will prevail. Until then, I will show an ID if asked, but that's just me. Thankfully we all still have the right to choose.

  12. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    And, as if to illustrate this point... don't tell them what they demand to know (whether they have a right to know or not) and you'll be nicked for obstruction, or some such.
  13. fergus

    fergus Member

    I recently had an interesting conversation with a police sergent regarding stop and search of photographers. After much heated exchanges he admitted that plods on the beat are unoffically encouraged to stop IC1 (police code for white person). The reason? In order to even up those numbers of ethnic minorities that are also stopped and one of the easiest targets are photographers!! In addition, in a number of cases police will use S44 as an excuse to search hoping to find anything such as drugs and/or weapons whereupon they can then arrest you under PACE 2000. A complete and disgraceful abuse of police powers. So there we have it, policing driven by targets to please our PR mined politicans and sod protecting the public.
  14. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Have to say that's not the first time I've heard that viewpoint, and on one occasion I too got it from the horses ar.. err, mouth, so to speak (albeit a now retired 'horse').

    Oh, and welcome to the forum fergus, don't be a stranger. ;)
  15. MartyG

    MartyG Well-Known Member

    I've long questioned how you can measure the effectiveness of policing numerically on arrests and stops.

    It's like determining the effectiveness of the Army by measuring how many Afghans they kill.
  16. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    I think it far to say the stat-culture HMG espouses is the ruination of the nation.
  17. fergus

    fergus Member

    Thank you and well done for hi-lighting the continuing abuse of our rights. The said officer I spoke to is a relative and we were at a party and he was pretty much the worse for wear after guzzling the freebies.

    I was at Saturdays Trafalgar sq meeting and was so pleased to meet such like minded folk. It was very successful and got great media coverage. Best memories are the couple of PCSO's having hundreds of camera's in thier face and nothing they could do and the stupid security guard on the stairs of the gallery being booed.

    arrange next one soon please, how about outside bank of america in the city!!
  18. fergus

    fergus Member

    I recall that time too. It was SUS laws and was used and abused by the old TSG which had to be disbanded due to adverse media coverage of thier behaviour - no id badges, stopping anyone they (dis)liked, making up the law as they went along......hang on, this all sounds too familar!!
  19. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Sus & the SPG, eh. Two words; Blair Peach. :(

    And now they're back as the S44 & TSG - not that the SPG/TSG ever went away just got different assignments and more menacing outfits. ;)
  20. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    I'm having the signs made up as you speak, I'm an IC3 male not an IC1 male - The I'm a photographer not a terrorist sign that used to hang around my neck has gone in the bin :D

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