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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 29th June 2010
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Thumbs down Not AGAIN...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06...other_romford/

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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

I dont think we will ever hear the end of incompetent police officers harassing photographers, what really takes the p*** is we pay their wages!
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Maybe this new government might clarify the law on taking photo's in public places. I won't hold my breath
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsh1960 View Post
Maybe this new government might clarify the law on taking photo's in public places. I won't hold my breath
Did you just see that pig flying past
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Having seen the video and having listened to it I have to tell you something: Two years ago, during a holiday in Bristol, I had a lot of trouble with some sort of policeman/security man. With friends who live in Bristol, my family and I visited a large shopping center with a restaurant. I wanted to take some photos of the 8 of us eating. In the background there was this policeman. When he saw me taking the photos, he came to me very quickly and told me to stop in a very rude way. It was not allowed to take pics of people in uniform and of children without permission of the parents (yes, there were a few at the table behind us...). I did not understand this at all. Overhere that is no problem at all. I tried to explain but he did not listen and got angry. After a few minutes my friend came to help me. She quarrelled with the man, who wanted the photos to be deleted. When she told him that I was Dutch and that I did not know the british laws, he calmed down and walked away, not before having given me a warning though. Afterward I got really paranoia about what could and could not be taken on photo.
Just wanted to share this. It must be difficult for you people to take photos whenever you want to. I do not envy you!! I took photos for fun, not even for work!
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Hi Wilma

The only issue I see in your circumstance was that you were in a shopping center - which are often not public property and where there are [still not] accepted restrictions on photography. Usually the owners of the shopping centers will permit photography, but only with prior permission.

It's a grey area over here, but it is generally well known that many ground level coppers don't know the law we pay them to know. Many do, and are fine & supportive, but unfortunately there are also many that don't and cause photographers lot's of frustration.
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

I was at a railway station the other day when a rail official came scuttling over asking if i had taken a photograph and did i have permission of the station manager...I replied no and turned off my camera and put the lens cap on rather deliberately...I was then told that I need permission as it was closed station....it was a place of 'public transport' but not a public place....is it just the UK?
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

@John,
That grey area and the coppers that do not know the law: that is what makes it difficult for photographers I think. You cannot tell by the look on their faces if they know the law or not. As a consequence isn't it so, that in some cases you will 'censure' your own photos in order to avoid any possible problems?

@Chris: I never heard of a case like this over here. If I want to take a photo on a railway station f.i. there is no problem at all. Also in restaurants, shopping centers, buildings that are not public, it is no problem. That is why I did not understand the attitude of the man in Bristol. The more while I took photos of my own friends and family and not of other people (with the DOF you would not have seen the background, but ok...) Of course there is the law on privacy and there are rules for publishing them, but as far as I know in general you can take photos everywhere, unless it is mentioned that it is forbidden or when they tell you so. Maybe other persons in the Netherlands know of these restrictions.... I do not, I never had any problems with that and I took photos on lots of different 'not-public' places.
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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Nope, never ran into any problems over here in The Netherlands.
And I did shoot in some awkward places... ;-)

Even when I shot some 'line geometry' close to a power station and a police car came trough, I only got a friendly wave from the cops...


I only was stopped once during a trip in the USA when I was trying to take a pic inside a large shopping mall. But that was not on public ground, so I could totally agree with the remarks i got.

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Old 29th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crimbo View Post
I was at a railway station the other day when a rail official came scuttling over asking if i had taken a photograph and did i have permission of the station manager...I replied no and turned off my camera and put the lens cap on rather deliberately...I was then told that I need permission as it was closed station....it was a place of 'public transport' but not a public place....is it just the UK?
well it's consistent with the smoking implementation, and there have definitely been 'cases' before.
trains and stations were a high profile terrorist threat at one point so as with the police we are left with a miss-match between current active guidance and individual officers understanding, but overall it seems to have quietened down closer to reality in most stations.

On the shopping centre, and public parks, there's a fine line between conscientious and jobsworth - but in both cases I have seen members of the public pressing staff to 'do something' about someone with a camera - I wouldn't want to be wearing a uniform in these environments at all.
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Old 30th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN... oh Yes!!!

Well it happened to me today...
I got back to work after my usual photographic lunchtime walk and was told the police wanted to see me...now I work in a hospital and thought it may be about one of my patients as did the receptionist...no...
I had been reported walking past a school with a camera...the same walk I have been doing most lunch hours for the past 13 months...with a camera...
Well they took my details and asked what I had been up to...i told them...nowt to hide but I was (surprising to me) shaking at little... the senior of the officer went off to make a call (as to how to proceed) and i was left with the junior of the officers...we got into conversation and I pointed out that I was only taking pictures in a public place and certainly not pointing into buildings...this junior officer thought I needed to have permission, I corrected them and when the senior colleague returned I asked if public photography was still allowed without requiring permission and they told me it was... they asked to see the pictures...which I showed them...and they reminded me about the sensitivities of having a camera near a school...

So told the management, (I am not sure the police had asked if they could interview me on work premises)and this is a hospital ... and they were very good in that they phoned the local inspector who told them that the matter was closed and it was a report from a very concerned member of the public...

So the police were doing their job..they had had a complaint they had to investigate...a very junior police officer will hopefully learn what is legal about public photography...the police use a controlling way which they need for their work...doesnt feel comfortable at my end...as for me...I will continue with my street photography projects...I am sure there will be children in some of the images...because children exist in our society and i am not going to erase them in post production or worst at the image taking stage...and yes my 'daily' walk will take me past that same school...

...and while the police reminded me of the sensitivities in our society at present I am not minded to control my legal hobby due the hysteria that has developed in the UK...but them come the revolution us photographers will probably be first against the wall...i have a greater understanding of the lynch mob mentality now!...am I daft?
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Old 30th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Hi Crimbo,

Good for you that you do not stop doing what you always do, just because one member of the public reported you. OK, the police did their work, but it must have been very uncomfortable for you, doing nothing wrong. I know there are a lot of sensitivities, also over here after two murders on a politician and a well known moviemaker/tv personality just because of the way they spoke out in public and after the threats during the time after that. No extra measures have been taken like in the UK after some serious incidents. In my opinion (but I am not a UK citizen and not used to this kind of rules) the measures in the UK are over the top and do not help at all. People planning bad things will do that anyway. The measures feed the hysteria and make things much more complicated.
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Old 30th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Hopefully with the latest ruleing from the European Court of Human Rights and "The Great Repeal Bill" promised by the new Government the UK will finally wake up to the individuals rights as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights.

Equally with more and more people prepared to take legal action against those who misuse their positions and against those that make false, trivial or mallicious allegations these incidents will reduce.
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Old 30th June 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

There seems to be some confusion on here as to what is a 'public place' in terms of criminal law in the UK.

Just to clear things up a public place in UK criminal law is 'any place to which the public has material access on payment or otherwise' (not sure of the exact wording)

Example......a cinema, during opening times is a public place - outside opening times it is not.
A shopping center is a public place, during its normal opening hours.

There is a grey area regarding the Road Traffic Act and privately owned car parks - however thats nothing to do with photography

Anywhere, where you as a member of public are given implied access, ie you dont have to meet specific criteria to enter (eg be an employee of the company that owns the building etc) regardless of whether or not you have to pay to enter is regarded as a public place.

A shopping center maybe a privately owned building, but you are given implied access, in that the owners of the building are happy to allow members of the public to enter, therefore it makes it a public place.

From the Met's website......

Quote:
Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.
However....there is a catch (isnt there always!)

On entry to a 'public place' there maybe restrictions to that entry which would prevent photography. For example a stately home or concert - you pay to enter, public are allowed to go in but in granting access the owners set out 'rules' which probably will include rescrictions on photography.

Now, from my understanding if you break these 'rules' you are not always commiting a criminal offence and all the owner of the property (or their agent) can do is ask you to leave. There are circumstances where a criminal offence would be committed, for example filming/taking pictures of a film being shown in a cinema.

Again another spanner in the works.........

Trespass is not usually a criminal offence in England and Wales (I know nothing of Scottish Law!) The owner of the property you are trespassing on can sue you for any damage caused etc - but this is a civil matter, not a cirminal one.
However......there are certain places where it is a criminal offence to trespass, such as military bases, airports and railways.

There are also specfic areas in the UK where photography is restricted, even though they are public places, though these restirctions seem to only apply to commercial photography (pictures linked to a business, profession or employment) not tourist photo's.

Oh and generally speaking owners of properties do not have any rights to stop you taking pictures of said property from a public place - eg snapping a building from a public highway. Again this would depend on the building in question (so dont go snapping military bases etc etc!)

With regards to photographing children there is Article 8 of the Eurpoean Convention on Human Rights (right to private life)

Now this MIGHT restrict the photographing of children - but its getting late and my brain is starting to melt.

Oh yes, and while I'm talking about children.......it can be an offense to photograph them.
This would depend on whether the child in particular is on the 'at risk' register (and 1 or 2 others) and the photograph could be used to identify that child and their location (think about when unfit parents have their children taken off them by social services and suddenly they pop up in the background of pic of your son/daughter you've posted wearing a blazer/jumper with the school name on it)

For all those who have managed to read through this all I can say is well done


I would just like to end with a point about the Police, please remember there are good and not so good in all jobs. Yes, we pay their wages (well providing you pay tax of course ) they pay their own wages too!
UK Law is very complex, this post has simply been focusing on some parts of the many many different items of legislation which could have an impact on photography, and I didnt really mention the lovely Terrorism Act 2000 as well as many others.

It would, imo, be unreasonable to expect every Police Officer to know every last detail of legislation inside out. In fact, to be honest it would be impossible. However, it is also not unreasonable to expect a Police Officer who is dealing with you to actually get clarification of the law before a decision is made!

Regards

Neil
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Old 1st July 2010
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Re: Not AGAIN...

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
It would, imo, be unreasonable to expect every Police Officer to know every last detail of legislation inside out. In fact, to be honest it would be impossible. However, it is also not unreasonable to expect a Police Officer who is dealing with you to actually get clarification of the law before a decision is made!

Regards

Neil
Thanks for clarifying so many points, Neil.

I'd just like to pick up on the one quoted above. The issue of photographer's rights and certain sections of the Counter Terrorism Act are currently such hot potatoes I would expect a Police Officer to be thoroughly conversant with these particular laws.
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