Police to Be Off-Limits to Photographers in the UK
A controversial law that is to come into effect today in the UK will limit the types of photographs one can take in public places within the UK. The law will target anyone who ‘elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces)… which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’. This includes both terrorists and tourists taking photographs of police officers. As one cannot tell the difference between one or the other, I propose that we simply call these people with cameras t*rists.
This is no laughing matter, however, as a person being found guilty of this offence will be fined and could spend up to 10 years in jail. I don’t expect photographers like you or me to end up with a sentence of any kind, but I am sure we’ll soon start seeing stories of photographers spending nights in a cell while the police confirm that they are not terrorists. I would like to know exactly how many terrorists have been caught in the act of taking photographs that make the passing of this law so important.
©2009 Marina Scukina
As one might imagine, photographers in the UK are far from happy. A demonstration took place today in front of New Scotland Yard where a few hundred photographers gathered to protest the new law (see photo above). Despite the police presence and the many pictures that were taken of them, I am not aware of any arrests having taken place.