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Old 4th August 2018
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drmarkf drmarkf is offline
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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 you’re doing and to provide photo ID?

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

“they 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... “

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

Likely to be a complete waste of time - I can’t 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 haven’t yet been put off by all the growing evidence of police dirty tricks, of course )
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Mark

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