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Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

A question for the street and urban photographers on here: have you recently been stopped by the police while taking pictures in a U.K. shopping mall and asked what youíre doing and to provide photo ID?

A female friend of mine recently had this experience, and Iím wondering if it represents a change in U.K. police policy. Getting stopped by security in such places is common, but Iíve never been stopped by police despite walking past them regularly:

ďthey didn't ask to see my images or ask me to stop. They asked what I was doing - I explained I was testing a new camera body/lens - and they said that they were stopping all those with cameras in shopping areas (not just precincts) in case of terrorism. They asked for photo ID and I produced my driving licence and as the picture on it looks nothing like me (I hate doing selfies) they asked for other ID, I had a fistful of plastic cards so they took one of those too. One radioed in to verify my ID whilst I chatted to the other. I asked and got permission to take a photo of the policeman's number for my records.
I've no idea what they would have done if I hadn't got photo ID with me... ď

I wonder what the return from such potentially irritating activity is? Iím inclined to wonder if they are actually now stopping all photographers since theyíre not allowed to do racial profiling.

Likely to be a complete waste of time - I canít think of a more small-c conservative and law-abiding group than photographers, especially those using a proper camera rather than a phone, and one would have thought they might want to avoid annoying this group of traditionally police-supporting bods.

(Those of us who havenít yet been put off by all the growing evidence of police dirty tricks, of course )
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Possibly an instruction from the Geheime Staatspolizei (used to be called the Home Office).

Jim
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

A problem with shopping malls and, indeed, outside in the general areas of some shopping centres, is that the land is privately owned. I have been approached by security people and asked not to photograph because I was on privately owned land and I'm not sure there is anything I can do about it apart from reassure them I am not commercial photographer.

As for asking for ID, I think that's overstepping the mark.

ian
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
A problem with shopping malls and, indeed, outside in the general areas of some shopping centres, is that the land is privately owned. I have been approached by security people and asked not to photograph because I was on privately owned land and I'm not sure there is anything I can do about it apart from reassure them I am not commercial photographer.

As for asking for ID, I think that's overstepping the mark.

ian
Yes, getting stopped by bored, little Hitler security types with nothing better to do is common in such places, and they are able to ask you to stop shooting on private property (and, incidentally, to use ďreasonable forceĒ if you donít), but this is different.

Iím inclined to head up to town without any ID at all, and see what happens.
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

BTW Iíve had a couple of recommendations from street photography groups to suggest she informs these guys: https://phnat.org/
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Iím inclined to head up to town without any ID at all, and see what happens.
Take a change of clothes, some sandwiches and bottle of water Mark, just in case ...............

John
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

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Take a change of clothes, some sandwiches and bottle of water Mark, just in case ...............

John
Yeah. The interesting story would be to compare how I got on with what would happen if my mate Zahyr did the same thing.
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Yeah, I think this is a grey area in the UK, we do not have these problems here in Portugal, some security people, will actually pose for you.
Then I live in rural central Portugal.
Chilling in our casa / home as it is 46 degree's out side and a respectable 31 degree's in doors.

If any of you are into wildlife here is a good cheap place to go wolves ,. Deer eagles African wild life come here too. Plus street photography too Hassle free.
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveart View Post
Yeah, I think this is a grey area in the UK, we do not have these problems here in Portugal, some security people, will actually pose for you.
Then I live in rural central Portugal.
Chilling in our casa / home as it is 46 degree's out side and a respectable 31 degree's in doors.

If any of you are into wildlife here is a good cheap place to go wolves ,. Deer eagles African wild life come here too. Plus in hassled street photography too.
Nice! But hot I expect.

Actually, I have always found police on the UK streets to be nothing less than charming when I have had occasion to talk to them while being a photographer. It probably helps being a dull looking white bloke in my 60s.

I included a shot of a couple of cops withdrawing money from a Glasgow ATM in my CPAGB portfolio (called it ĎCops, camera, ATMí) and one of them spotted me and came over. I thought I was in for a grilling, but it turned out he was actually a street photographer and we had a nice chat.
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Reminds me of a case in the medway towns some years ago, but in the digital age.
A guy was photographing the shops in Chatham high st when he was asked what he was doing by a council employee. Said employee wanted to see the pics on his screen, alas, no screen, it was a film camera. Police called, photographer held for around 20 minutes in police van, and then released.
Word got around so lots of photographers turned up an a Saturday morning to photograph the high st, a mate and myself included, and as we walked around the high st taking photos, he remarked to me, "You know what Dave, I am a little disappointed we have not been arrested?
I am also reminded of Ken Livingstone having a go at security and police when making a film, https://uk.ask.com/youtube?q=Ken+Liv...&v=9TuxOUGV6hE
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

As has been said, shopping malls are privately owned so they can make their own rules about what is permitted inside them. And from a security point of view, no doubt they have concerns about people taking photographs of their security shutters, burglar alarms etc.

After all, how many of us (with expensive camera kits) would appreciate someone outside our house taking photos of its doors, fences and windows?
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

No need - Google street view has the pictures already
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Well they can't get in shopping centres, and the shots of my house are several years out of date!
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapper View Post
Reminds me of a case in the medway towns some years ago, but in the digital age.
A guy was photographing the shops in Chatham high st when he was asked what he was doing by a council employee. Said employee wanted to see the pics on his screen, alas, no screen, it was a film camera. Police called, photographer held for around 20 minutes in police van, and then released.
Word got around so lots of photographers turned up an a Saturday morning to photograph the high st, a mate and myself included, and as we walked around the high st taking photos, he remarked to me, "You know what Dave, I am a little disappointed we have not been arrested?
I am also reminded of Ken Livingstone having a go at security and police when making a film, https://uk.ask.com/youtube?q=Ken+Liv...&v=9TuxOUGV6hE
I remember that!
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Re: Police stop & ID in U.K. shopping centres?

From 6 min in the law as it stood in 2016 is explained by a police inspector.


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