The body in charge of coordinating police policy must play a greater role in the behaviour of officers who stop photographers taking pictures in public, the Home Secretary has warned.
Theresa May was responding to a letter by Francis Maude MP which outlined concerns raised by photography rights campaigner Mark Singleton.
Singleton, a retired photographer, told the Home Secretary that police guidelines on how photographers should be treated have ?singularly failed? to change the attitude of the nation?s police forces.
May responded by declaring a clear intention for ACPO – the body in charge of leading, co-ordinating and developing police policy – to take greater control over the implementation of guidelines it has issued to police forces on the matter.
In a letter to Francis Maude MP, published today, May states that the introduction of Commissioners – in place of police authorities – will ?free police from bureaucracy and central guidance generated by Whitehall, The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and other organisations?.
The Home Secretary adds: ?At the same time Government is equally clear that ACPO has an important part to play and the Home Office will challenge the service to take greater responsibility in the areas Mr Singleton has outlined?
?The police must be able to decide how incidents are dealt with and resolved and we will look to ACPO to show strong leadership in promoting and supporting the greater use of professional judgement by police officers and staff.?
The news comes just days after the release of Home Office figures which revealed that despite the stop-and-search of more than 100,000 people under Section 44 anti-terror laws in 2009/10, not one was arrested for terrorism-related offences.
ACPO represents Chief Constables in the 44 police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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