A couple of weeks ago I wrote to my MP Andrew Smith regarding the recent increase in incidents where photographers have been intimidated and threatened by police or security guards whilst taking photographs in public areas.
Today I received the following letter from Jacqui Smith MP (the current Home Secretary) via Andrew Smith:
There is no legal restriction on photography in public places, and there is no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place.
It is for the Chief Constable to ensure that Officers and PCSOs are acting appropriately with regards to photography in public places, and any queries regarding this should be addressed to the Chief Constable.
However, decisions may be made locally to restrict photography, for example to protect children. Any questions on such local decisions should also be addressed to the force concerned.
I’ll be continuing the dialog with Andrew Smith MP to see if there is anything further that can be done by the Home Secretary to remind her forces about this aspect of the law, as well sending my Chief Constable a copy of the letter.
You can find your own Chief Constable on the main UK Police Service site.
(I’ll now return you to the usual inane and irreverant japery that’s to be found round here.)