Friday, Dec 4th, 2009
The government’s own anti-terror advisor, Lord Carlile of Berriew, believes that the police are over-using and misusing anti-terror laws to crack down on photographers.
Speaking to the Independent this week, he warned that officers who make use of Section 44 powers to stop and search anyone in a designated “authorisation zone” without giving a reason need to be aware that the simple act of taking a photograph is not a good enough reason to detain the photographer.
“The police have to be very careful about stopping people who are taking what I would call leisure photographs, and indeed professional photographers,” he said. “The fact that someone is taking photographs is not prima facie a good reason for stop and search and is very far from raising suspicion. It is a matter of concern and the police will know that they have to look at this very carefully.”
Lord Carlile’s comments follow a number of high profile incidents in which police powers in this respect appear to have been used excessively. Most recently, it was reported that two police community support officers stopped and searched BBC stills photographer Jeff Overs as he took photographs of St Paul’s Cathedral.
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This article was posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 at 5:18 am