Police have moved to reassure photographers that soon-to-be released government guidance for officers will not give them more stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The statement came as the Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers used the anti-terrorism legislation to stop a schoolboy who had been taking pictures of Wimbledon railway station in London.

Fabian Sabbara, 15, was taking snapshots using his mobile phone as part of a school project.

He was not searched, arrested or cautioned but his details were recorded on a Stop and Search form during the incident on 16 September.

The Met tells us that Fabian?s details have now been removed from the police database.

Police officers have been widely criticised for abusing their powers under the Act, following an increase in reports of similar incidents that led to a nationwide campaign to defend photographers? rights.

As we reported on Tuesday, the government is poised to hand out revised guidance to police officers, urging them to carry reminders about their powers while on the streets.

The guidance was drawn up by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which has since responded to our call for clarification on police powers.

?I can assure you it will not give police more powers,? said NPIA spokesman Peter Mandich.

Commenting on the contents of the new guidance, due to be sent to UK police forces next month, Mandich told us: ?It makes it clear that the Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place? These powers are exceptional and should only be used in specific circumstances.?

The spokesman added: ?The document goes on to add that if an officer suspects that photographs are being taken as part of hostile terrorist reconnaissance, then a search under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act, or an arrest should be considered.

?Film and memory cards may be seized as part of the search but officers do not have any legal power to delete images or destroy film.?


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