Police defend anti-terror photo campaign
Police deny that their latest anti-terror campaign will encourage harassment of photographers taking pictures in public places.
Last week police chiefs issued fresh warnings over the potential dangers posed by people carrying cameras for surveillance purposes.
The news comes amid growing reports of clashes between police officers and photographers taking pictures in public places in the UK.
Speaking today, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said the campaign is not intended to target photographers, amateur or professional.
She told us: ‘It’s part of a counter-terrorism campaign and one element is the camera element.’
The Met spokeswoman said the move aims to alert the public to terrorists taking photos of security arrangements, such as a ‘security guard’.
The newspaper advertising campaign, published nationwide, states: ‘Terrorists use surveillance to help plan attacks, taking photos and making notes about security measures like the location of CCTV cameras. If you see someone doing that, we need to know. Let experienced officers decide what action to take.’
The full-page advert includes a picture of a compact camera, repeated hundreds of times on a red background to help drive the message home. Similar ads are to be broadcast on radio in coming weeks.
The Met spokeswoman told us the timing of the campaign is not an indication of a higher level of terrorism threat in the UK.
The five-week campaign is backed by The Metropolitan Police, City of London Police and British Transport Police. It also has the support of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The Anti-Terrorism hotline is 0800 789 321.
Photo rights/BBC TV coverage
BBC article: photography and police
Photographers take fight to Home Office
Police pledge to act on photo fears
MP launches photography petition in House of Commons
Police in 'deleted' pictures storm
Anger at police statement on photography
Police apologise over Christmas lights fiasco