Labour Party issues policy on photographers and terrorism (update 11am)

April 20, 2010

The Labour Party has issued a statement to photographers following pledges by the Tories and Lib Dems to end misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

Last week both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives vowed to end abuse of police stop-and-search that has ensnared many an innocent photographer.

Amateur and professional photographers have complained about the unfair use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act which gives a police officer the power to stop someone without reasonable suspicion that they are involved in terrorist activity.

Photographers are often suspected of carrying out ‘hostile reconnaissance’ while taking pictures in public places.

Asked for the Labour Party?s latest stance on this issue, a spokesman told Amateur Photographer (AP): ?We?ve made clear we want to see police forces only use stops and searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act for terrorism-related searches, not for other reasons.?

In a meeting with Amateur Photographer magazine staff last month, the government attempted to reassure photographers that they are not being ‘targeted’ by police officers under anti-terrorism stop and search powers.

The government’s terrorism watchdog, Lord Carlile, recently confirmed to AP that he has called for Section 44 of the Terrorism Act to be abolished.

Last week AP revealed new figures that show police use of the controversial Section 44 power shot up 66% in 2008/2009, compared with a year earlier.



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