Austin Mitchell's Early Day Motion

Austin Mitchell’s Early Day Motion, as tabled in the House of Commons on 11 March 2008.

Austin Mitchell’s Early Day Motion, tabled in the House of Commons on 11 March, reads: ‘That this house is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which police, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography, and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious grounds such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.’

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