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Photographer Arrested For Filming Christmas Celebration

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Paul Lewis
London Guardian
Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Police questioned an amateur photographer under anti-terrorist legislation and later arrested him, claiming pictures he was taking in a Lancashire town were “suspicious” and constituted “antisocial behaviour”.

Footage recorded on a video camera by Bob Patefield, a former paramedic, shows how police approached him and a fellow photography enthusiast in Accrington town centre. They were told they were being questioned under the Terrorism Act.

Senior police officers last year promised to scale back the use of anti-terrorist legislation such as Section 44 of the act, which deals with photographers, after a series of high-profile cases in which photographers said they had been harassed by police for taking innocuous images in the street.

Patefield and his friend declined to give their details, as they are entitled to under the act. The police then appeared to change tack, saying the way the men were taking images constituted “antisocial behaviour”. Patefield, who is in his 40s, was stopped three times before finally being arrested.

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This article was posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 at 5:46 am





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