City of London Police have released an official statement after a photographer was stopped earlier today in central London amid terrorism fears.
A police spokesman told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘Security staff at a City bank reported concern over the apparently hostile behaviour of a man taking pictures of their staff. When questioned by officers the man declined to give any explanation.
‘He was therefore informed that in light of the concerns of the security staff, and in the absence of an explanation, he would be searched under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.’
The spokesman added that no further action was taken once his bag had been searched and the photographer explained he was a freelance who was taking pictures of buildings.
Police say the police officers were not armed.
Earlier today, Smith said he had declined to provide his details to a guard and that he had been photographing buildings – not security staff – on Cheapside, near St Paul’s Cathedral.
Smith has since told AP that he was taking pictures as part of a personal project to photograph ‘the remaining steeple of Wren’s Christchurch, Newgate’.
Smith told us that an officer had recorded his details on a ‘stop and account’ form.
However, police insist that a ‘Section 44 Stop and Search’ form was completed and that correct procedures were followed.
‘My understanding is that he was given the correct form,’ added the police spokesman.
Smith has told AP that he was taking pictures as part of a personal project to photograph ‘the remaining steeple of Wren’s Christchurch, Newgate’.
Picture credit: Grant Smith