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police wrongly stop my street photography! *video inside*

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by tamphotography, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. tamphotography

    tamphotography Well-Known Member

    lol there is none, load of tosh
  2. MPB

    MPB Well-Known Member

    Can't comment on this particular incident but the west yorkshire boys leeeds city centre seem to leave you to it and are nearly always friendly enough. As are north yorkshire Police. not had any runnings Yet
  3. BikerMike

    BikerMike Well-Known Member

    I've just listened to it all and think the photographer came acrosss well and the interviewer was fair, but the policeman used typically vague language, avoided answering direct questions and for an expert wasn't clear or very well informed.

    Most revealingly, he even suggested that the PCSOs might have another version of events - despite the video evidence.

    If he can say that in the face of video evidence, I dread to think what he would say in its absence.

    I'll probably get screamed at for saying this, but being held to account by recorded evidence is probably the main reason why they pick on photographers in the first place. They don't like being caught on camera and (in)justice being seen to be done.
  4. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    Not keen on the phrasing of this. It makes it sound as though those around you decide whether you can take photo's or not.

    Everyone - whether that be a member of the public or an afficer - should accept that they may be photographed while in public.
  5. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Excellent point. I'd like to reserve my right not to be recorded by 300 CCTV cameras a day. The only way i can think of not being recorded at the moment is by not leaving the house. And sticking a post-it note over my laptops webcam.
  6. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Well-Known Member

    You may want to be careful that your TV isn't watching you too. Some Toshiba TVs are now coming out with webcams and face recognition to configure themselves to your preferences.

    See Here.
  7. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    Right, I've just listened to the officers part of the interview, and I'm pretty appalled, to be honest. One of the first things he says is (and I quote)

    "There's obviously been some misunderstanding here, but, I think when you look at the circumstances, you've got someone in the street who is taking photographs, well certainly my expectations would be that police officers or PCSOs would actually approach them and find out why they were taking photographs and who they were, because we've got a duty to protect the public and to ensure they can go about their daily business without being, without their personal lives being interferred with."

    Firstly, SOMEBODY TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE STREET IS NOT REASON TO STOP AND QUESTION THEM. How many times must ACPO/Met/Home office issue statements saying this?

    But there you have it folks. Straight from the horses mouth, a senior police officer saying that simply by taking photographs, you should expect to be questioned. Photography is suspicious behaviour.

    A duty to protect members of the public? Are photographers not members of the public? Where is our protection?

    Later on "People can take photo's in a public place, that's not a problem at all, but it is important that we establish that that is, that you know, those people are genuine, and that they're just exercising their normal rights. You can't do that without having a conversation with them in the first instance".

    So again, if you have a camera, you will have a "conversation" where you have to prove you are exercising your normal rights. Guilty be default, it would seem.

    Other than that, lots of flipping back and forth on key points. Officers should expect to have pictures taken. Taking the pictures prevented the officers from doing their job.

    "I think they were just trying to establish the details of this person, you know sometimes if you're faced with a person that isn't being totally honest with you about what they're there for, who they are, etc.. "

    Oh? So street photography wasn't the genuine reason he was taking photo's in the street? I'd like to hear more about this theory.

    Unfortunately, he goes off on a tangent there, comparing it to someone taking a photograph of the police talking to someone else, not the police talking to a photographer. I'm not sure if that was deliberate, or if he's just got flustered.

    It's a shame that it couldn't have been resolved with a two way dialogue. Indeed it is a shame. However, whenever Tom explained what the laws were, and where the guidelines could be located, the PCSO tells him that she doesn't need to look it up, that the law is different in Mansfield, etc..

    All in all, a very disappointing performance from the police there, clarifying little and leaving vague interprettations for the rest.

    Also, Andy Whittake is a terrible interviewer. He's almost schitzophrenic in how he puts questions in context.
  8. Stephen67

    Stephen67 Well-Known Member

    Just caught back up with all this, and had a listen...

    I thought you came over well Tom, and to be fair so did the radio host (although by default, they do like to play devil's advocate a little bit).

    The Superintendant defended his staff to the hilt (bet no one saw that coming!), but I think he was getting quite flustered towards the end and was running out of answers - nay - excuses.

    I noticed there wasn't even a hint of an apology... tut tut.

    A couple of things he said which were completely wrong, especially the "No one should have to have there photo taken..." Er, excuse me officer, but unfortunately it's not your choice. 'No one has an expectation of privacy in a public place' etc... If you - or anyone else - expects privacy then stay in your home. Period.

    Also, and as we all know, harrassment has to be a course of conduct on two or more seperate occassions. If the police's words are anything to go by, no one should have to be filmed by CCTV on more than 300 times a day - this constitutes harrassment, and to be quite frank, is causing me alarm and distress. I think I'll phone the police...;)

    In my honest opinion, what with cases like this cropping up more and more, I think the Police are starting to look very silly - and they're beginning to realize that. Finally.
  9. IanJTurner

    IanJTurner Well-Known Member

    It's been really interesting to watch this story develop.

    I think it's fairly safe to assume that the Community Support Officers in question will, by now, be fully aware of how the Superintendent feels about having to appear on the BBC to defend their unprofessional behaviour. I think we'd be a little naïve, perhaps, to expect him to openly criticise them in a radio interview.

    As to the being photographed in a public place issue, I agree - he didn't put that across very well, but in a way, I see his point - if someone would rather not be photographed, and they politely make this clear to the photographer, then I think the photographer should comply, out of common courtesy - no need to involve the law.

    To be honest, I really don't mind if a police officer or CSO comes over to chat about what I'm doing - it's nice to know someone is keeping an eye on things - obviously though, if their people skills are as poor as those of young lady in Tom's recording, it can be a bit annoying, but generally, I find most bobbies on the beat are a bit better at public relations than she is!
  10. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    Yep I have a friend who won't appear in photos (I suggested he was an international jewel thief on the run from Interpol and he said "How did you guess?") so I never photograph him. Trouble is he's a bit of an inhibitor- there have been times when I've taken my camera out and realised he was there and not taken any shots even though I wanted to. As a living manifestation of sod's law he's always in the frame when something worth photographing is going on
  11. Stephen67

    Stephen67 Well-Known Member

    I completely agree. When I say "you don't have a choice..." well, erm... you don't. But that's not to say common courtesy doesn't and shouldn't prevail at all times. I've always worked on the basis that 'No Means No'. Fortunately I work very fast and don't give my subjects time to say no, but on the very odd occassion that they've said it after I've took the shot, I've always stopped and explained what I'm doing and even apologised if I've offended them in any way - it was not intentional. 10 out of 10 people are fine with this. Also, I say "Thank you" to every single person I photograph.

    At the end of the day, and I hope we all know it, a bit of courtesy and politeness goes a long way. None of us want to get Street Photography a bad name by being a complete arse. That's not what we're about.
  12. coldwarkid

    coldwarkid Active Member

    I'm in agreement that common sense should prevail but theres a difference between someone being the subect of a shot without asking and them being a part of the shot in general.
    I'm interested in doing some street photography soon as I haven't done any since returning to the hobby again a couple of years ago but all the hassle that other people seem to be having is putting me off.It's a shame really because as a teenager I did quite a lot and got some good results.
  13. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member

    Additional information...

    The Home Secretary today announced a fundamental reform of the body responsible for the professional skills development and leadership development of the Police. As previously trailed, the NPIA (National Police Improvement Agency) will be phased out. A new body will be set up next year.

    This is being described as a significant move towards introducing greater public accountability for the Police.

    Home Office story here.
  14. BikerMike

    BikerMike Well-Known Member

    Described by whom exactly?

    They just feel the need to sell their reforms to a gullible public.

    Regards, Mike
  15. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    More jobs for the boys, a few million more out of the public purse; they should have set up the NPIA properly and made it work in the first place.

    Who makes all the money out of these rebranding exercises, how much for a design study for a new logo, new letterheads, new signs on the doors, will they all need new vehicles?
  16. BigLad82

    BigLad82 Member

    HaHa...trust me coppers in mansfield wouldnt have wanted there pictures taken because there bigger crooks than the crooks..:p........ "a moan from experience..
    As i work in mansfield as an CCTV operator, i know that CCTV has its own individual, if not unique "rules/laws" so that wont ever stant up to an arguement with police.......
    i once got stopped taking pictures in mansfield by a council official when i was on a school project but this was some 13yr ago, things prob changed now..........In fact there are certain spots around mansfield that have brass plaques on the floor with info no them of the subject your looking at encouraging you to "Stop, look and view, taking pictures of some of the towns "landmarks"...idiotic really
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  17. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    just don't get him started about the protestors at Ratcliffe on Soar power station....:D

    (For the non Notts residents amongst you some employees and former employees are protesting on a regular basis outside the aforementioned power station over some genuine grievance/dispute that they have with a contractor? there. What has happened is that unfortunately the nature of the protest means that it causes problems on the A453 route into and out of Nottingham. When his voice can only be heard by the local dogs you realise how intolerant he seems to be. Of course when the BBCannounced the massive cuts being proposed to local radio services his indignancy knew no bounds and everyday he would go on and on and on and on about the cuts and how bad they were....mmm do I detect a bit of:eek::D misuse of airtime there....
  18. irisheyes45

    irisheyes45 New Member

    in relation to your story these 2 plods must be related 2 2pcs i had a run in some years ago when taxi driving . 1 pc and 1 wpc from central police station in Nottingham threatened to ticket me for causing an obstruction at 2.45am on a sunday morning outside the concert hall , i mean obstruction to what at that time.Also if he had noticed my back doors were flying wide open and my passengers were not in the car properly .I said to them if i drive off now they will fall under the car will you accept responsibility for any injuries they get.but he would not take no for an answer anyway i complained to their sergeant next day and they both had a strip torn off and told how to speak to the general public properly. I guess that is what we get for living in a police state who have gone security and laws mad of late.
  19. Bawbee

    Bawbee Well-Known Member

    Very interesting first-post and nothing at all to do with photography - Rollocks I reckon :(
  20. George W Johnson

    George W Johnson Well-Known Member

    At 0:30 did she say, "I'm not going to talk to you as you're really irritating me."?!?!

    For Christ's sake! If I heard a copper talking like that to a member of the public, I'd take their number and file a complaint for poor and rude conduct, especially as you have the documentary evidence!


    "Police in Nottingham know it, why don't you?"
    "I don't know!"

    I'm not asking for every copper to know every rule and law but to simply brush it off with 'I don't know and don't really care' attitude.


    BANG! There it is around 2:20.

    "We get any complaints about you taking pictures of kids or anyone, you'll be nicked.".

    What difference does it make between, kids, adults, dogs, cats or pigging aliens?! Glad to see tabloid sensationalism is alive and well and guiding the behaviour of the Mansfield Met officers! That last bit "nicked". No, a professional police officer should not use the word "nicked" while in a calm situation like that.


    I've been out shooting images in London at 4am, very few people about, police have walked past and one once said, "I'm not that good looking, hope you got my good side!". My local force found me on a bridge one night taking traffic shots, "Can you explain what you're doing sir?". I pulled the camera down off the tripod I didn't even get a chance to explain, "Ah a photography thing! No problem sir, sorry to bother you.", they drove off.

    That WPC seemed like a right little fascist with professional manners no better than the drunks she most likely has to deal with on a Friday night shift!

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