An online petition campaigning for photographers’ right to take pictures of police officers has had a huge surge in support since the G20 protests.
Images of police behaviour during the demonstrations are proving crucial to independent investigations into officers’ behaviour.
More than 4,300 people have now backed a petition lodged on the Number 10 website.
The petition refers to section 76 of the Terrorism Act 2008, which makes it an offence to obtain or attempt to obtain ‘information’ about a police constable that is ‘likely to be useful’ to a terrorist.
In legal terms, photographs in which police constables can be identified, are information.
Submitted by Simon Taylor the petition states: ‘On 16 February the Government passed a law (in the Counter Terrorism Act) making it illegal to take photographs of a police office [sic], military personnel or member of the intelligence services – or a photograph which ‘may be of use for terrorism’. This definition is vague at best, and open to interpretation by the police – who under Home Secretary guidelines can ‘restrict photography in public places’. We call for these vague restrictions to be lifted, as they can easily be misused by the police.’
For details visit http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/photorestrict/