Police have spoken out after a YouTube video showed a photographer being stopped while legitimately taking pictures in Middlesbrough city centre.
In the video, posted on 3 September, the police?s reason for stopping the photographer is far from clear.
An officer asks to see the photographer?s digital images before referring to the Terrorism Act and asking whether he has a ?licence? to take pictures.
Alongside the video the photographer wrote: ?Middlesbrough police insisted that I and other photographers need to have a licence to carry a camera in public let alone use it.?
The incident is said to have occurred on 30 August.
The police officer is heard telling the photographer: ?Basically, we are making sure you are taking pictures for a job and not anything else which could be pictures of? women, anything inappropriate really.?
But he then adds: ?We obviously have a few reasons for being concerned under the Terrorism Act. We don?t know what you are taking pictures of. We?re very busy tonight. It?s for public safety.
?We?ve also got issues on whether you are legally taking photos of people in modest ways or whether you are committing voyeurism – because we don?t know that either.?
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police told Amateur Photographer: ?We are aware of this particular incident and have spoken to the officer involved. We have also issued guidance to all officers and staff in relation to taking photographs in public places.?
We understand that all officers in the force have been sent an email informing them that photographers do not require a permit to take pictures in public places.
?I know that this has been an issue nationally,? said the spokeswoman, referring to the furore caused by the reports of infringement of photographers? rights in this way.
To see the video click here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TRZAY2V8gqU&feature=related