An amateur photographer with no fixed abode was held under anti-terror laws outside the Wimbledon tennis championships after a security guard suspected he was a terrorist, it has emerged.
Michael Ryan, who says he lives in a tent in Enfield, north London, was visiting Wimbledon for the day to photograph activity surrounding the tournament from Church Road, a public highway outside the club.
Police claim that Ryan refused to supply his address details when he was stopped under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act.
Ryan told Amateur Photographer (AP) that this was because he is ?technically homeless?.
The photo enthusiast told AP he had merely taken pictures of people walking along the pavement, TV satellite vans and film crews as they reported on the championships on 1 July.
Ryan, said yesterday: ?There was nothing any other photographer or news group must have already and there were cameras there all the time. All I can say is that it must have been a case of victimisation.?
Ryan – who was using a Canon EOS 450D digital SLR – said he was apprehended after staff from G4S, a security services firm, became suspicious and tipped off police.
A copy of the stop-and-search form completed by the police officer gives the grounds for the search as: ?Pointed out by G4S staff taking photos of surrounding Wimbledon fences and gates. High priority site with possible hostile recon [reconnaissance] in the last few days. S44 search area zone.?
A few days earlier the European Court of Human Rights had rejected the former Government’s appeal against a ruling that police use of Section 44 stop-and-search powers is illegal.
The Home Office has said it is considering the implications of the court?s decision and will conduct a review of stop-and-search as part of a wider review of anti-terrorism legislation.
In the meantime, police continue to hold Section 44 stop-and-search powers.