There’s been a surprisingly good, sensible discussion in the House of Commons on the recent police vs photographer problems. The issue was raised by John Randall (Conservative) and a number of other MPs made good contributions. It’s well worth reading if you’re an amateur or pro photographer in the UK.
- Here’s the readable version: Photography (Public Places) provided by They Work For You
- (Here’s the 1995-style official version of Photography (Public Places) from The Stationary Office)
The official government position appears to be in favour of photographer’s rights and critical of police abusing existing laws
“I make it absolutely clear that unless someone is engaged in criminal activity, they must be allowed to take photographs in public places and that the law should not be used to discourage or hamper that activity.”
However, reassuring noises from junior ministers are not enough - abuses are still happening.
(I’m not generalizing police behaviour - I’ve got no doubt that most officers are fine, and many of those involved in these ‘photocop’ incidents are simply ill-informed. All the same, here’s why we need freedom of photography)