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back to article Police protester snap did not breach rights

Police-ordered photography of an anti-arms trade protester did not breach the protester's privacy rights, the High Court has ruled. It is one of the few times that such alleged intrusion by the state rather than the media has been the subject of a UK ruling. Andrew Wood, a media co-ordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade ( …

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Al
Black Helicopters

"police attempted to learn his identity from his travel documents"

Interesting line. How much information can the police readily access from 'travel documents' - which I assume to mean tickets?

Note to future protestors - get someone else to buy you an Oyster card for outings.

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Unhappy

If he is bothered..

about having his photo taken by the autorities, then he had better not leave the house as every CCTV camera along his route will be taking pictures. Just a normal part of this autoritatian state we live in today... Sadly.

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Brave Fellow

Going down into the tube station knowing the cops were after him. So does this work both ways can we take photos of cops, or any public event without having the police confiscating the camera, deleting the photos or insisting we desist?

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Tim
Black Helicopters

I love this country.

You can do whatever you want with no fear of oppression by the state. God forbid we live in a police state where your every move is tracked and you are made to feel like a criminal all the time.

Now i am off to wear a thick padded jacket on the underground when its 25 degrees outside. I may even chance wearing a transformers t-shirt on underneath it!.

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Stop

WTF!

I am stunned, the frigging plods should be!

So he goes to the AGM, he must have had an invite or he wouldn't have got in. He asked a reasonable question. He left.

The plods photograph him and want his name & address, WHY? Did the photograph the rest of the attendees at that AGM? Did the plods get _their_ names & addresses? Then the plods follow him to an underground station and used the LT staff to force him to hand over his ticket for them to get his name from. Bet he has a standard daily railcard or similar without any ID on it.

The stated reason for this. He _MIGHT_ cause problems in the future.

In that case plods take EVERYONES pictures. because anyone & everyone MIGHT cause you problems in the future. There is only one group of people who won't cause you any problems and they're the criminals who go round burglarising places, those who mug people on the street, those who assult you for the 'pleasure' of putting the video of it onto youtube. They're too busy fucking US up to cause you problems you twats.

The UK police have descended into total and utter madness. This action is utterly STUPID.

AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fair enough

So by that reasoning, the pictures of police at the Swiss G8 summit were legal.

Oops.

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Thumb Down

No surprise

It's not an invasion of privacy because we take pictures of lots of innocent people in the interests of public order. After all, the best way to prevent "disorder" is to intimidate hoi polloi to the point where they will no longer try to take part in any form of protest. Then we can get down to the serious business of running the country while you watch Jeremy Kyle.

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All under the same law

If his photo was taken in the street then that's acceptable. After all, I might want to take photos of people in the street, I assume that is still allowed. He asked an objectionable question at the event so the police followed him and tried to find out who he was. That seems a bit invasive. They are not storing the picture however they will use the picture in case of problems in the future, so they are storing the picture, but thats OK because they are not storing the picture? Are they saving the picture?

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Black Helicopters

Pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps

"The judge ruled that the taking of the photos did not infringe Woods' rights, and that the retention of the photos could not be considered an interference if DNA samples, a much more personal record of identity than a photograph, could be lawfully retained."

So because of one poor bit of law (the fact the police can take and retain your DNA even if you are innocent of any wrongdoing) it follows that they can keep your photo on record to produce crib sheets of known protesters?

I believe that by making this leap of logic the judge has ignored the wording of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which is the act that makes it legal for the police to retain fingerprints and samples.

The relevant bit of that act (section 82) is:

------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) Section 64 of the 1984 Act (destruction of fingerprints and samples) shall be amended as follows.

(2) For subsections (1) and (2) (obligation to destroy fingerprints and samples of persons who are not prosecuted or who are cleared) there shall be substituted—

“(1A) Where—

(a) fingerprints or samples are taken from a person in connection with the investigation of an offence, and

(b) subsection (3) below does not require them to be destroyed,

the fingerprints or samples may be retained after they have fulfilled the purposes for which they were taken but shall not be used by any person except for purposes related to the prevention or detection of crime, the investigation of an offence or the conduct of a prosecution.

-------------------------------------------------------------

So the police may be able to keep fingerprints and samples "where fingerprints or samples are taken from a person in connection with the investigation of an offence"

So assumung the judge intended a photograph to fall within the scope of a sample what offence were the police investigating when they photographed the arms protester?

I suggest that since no offence was being investigated the police have no more right to keep his photograph than they would to retain his fingerprints or DNA if they had been taken in the same circumstances.

To go off topic I have been wondering if wearing a cap with high power infrared LED's on the peak of it would mess up photos or video taken by the police in such circumstances, I think it should work with video cameras but digital cameras might have an IR filter in them.

Black helicopter because the jack booted thugs are getting stronger by the day

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Anonymous Coward

The filth

When I was a wee boy my cousin (a bit of a bad boy) used to refer to the police as "the floating shit". I thought that a bit harsh at the time, but it turned out he was right!

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Unhappy

Protesters first, then the kids

Love the quote about the "specific, limited purpose"; i.e. "keeping track of anyone who we think we might want to arrest in the future". (Or "doing our bit to make arms dealers happy in hopes of getting tasers on discount").

http://fitwatch.blogspot.com

Get used to it folks, this same lot are now stalking schoolkids on estates.

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Silliness

Pah! Way back in Ye Olde Protest Days I played cat and mouse with a police photographer who wanted a photo and we both got a laugh out of it (he eventually got his photo). Both of us were 'just doing our job'. Would never have occurred to any of us to go whining to a court.

I'm sure the police are quite happy to a have a clear ruling thanks to Mr. Wood's silliness.

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g e
Silver badge

Take photos of plods

You can bet they'll not like it.

Is tempting to go out in town on Saturday if it's not pissing down and deliberately use the huge SIgma 50-500 to photo coppers just to see what they do.

I bet I end up in the station being 'cautioned' for something spurious.

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Anonymous Coward

Retention appropriate to the purpose

Doesn't the DPA have provision for only keeping information on someone for long enough?

How long do they consider "long enough"? The rest of his life, "just in case"? So now he's done something completely legal and within his rights, he's subject to additional scrutiny by the plod at other public events? What is the purpose of having his photo? To identify him, obviously, but as what? Someone they shouldn't arrest unless he breaks the law? Like every other fucker.

Sure, if he's convicted of something, he should be on a watch list as a troublemaker, but as far as the article goes, he's no criminal record at all.

'Nother step down the road to a polcie state.

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Thumb Down

CCTV

So, how come there's CCTV everywhere, police are randomly taking photos of people, can't go anywhere without someone taking your photo, yet when I'm a victim of a crime there's no CCTV evidence anywhere?

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Pirate

Silence of the guilty majority

When the Police came for the muslims,

I remained silent;

I was not a muslim.

When they locked up the Heathrow protestors,

I remained silent;

I was not a Heathrow Protestor.

When they came for the anti-arms trade protestor,

I did not speak out;

I was not an anti-arms trade protestor.

When they came for the civil rights protestors,

I remained silent;

I wasn't a civil rights protestor.

When they came for me,

there was no one left to speak out.

Skull & Cross-bones - death of a free society

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@Niall

I believe this happened in 2004, before the Stockwell execution. Nowadays they probably would have shot him, since it's been established that there aren't any significant repercussions for shooting innocent people.

This was intimidation, pure and simple. The Bill's best buddies, the Scientologists, are well aware of how much you can frighten someone simply by following someone around and making it very obvious to them that they're being followed, it's one of their favourite tactics for intimidating "fair game". (Comparisons with CCTV, which watches everyone, miss the point in this case - it's the personal touch that makes the difference.) If they really wanted a photo they could get one some other, much easier way.

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Anonymous Coward

So it's alright...

..to photograph the police breaking the law, speeding back to their sty at the end of a hard shift of photographing the innocent, law-abiding citizens.

The Police in this country just get worse...It isn't an offence to wear that shirt but if it does become one, we will arrest you.

Meanwhile, all manner of violent crime is perpetrated on our society with little chance of the offender being caught.

I depair!!

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Silver badge
Go

A couple of points

A: "SIgma 50-500"

Having used the 70-200 F2.8, I have decided that I love you. Can I borrow that please?

B: Infra-red - if using a camera for 'surveillance' then you'd ideally want a camera with a good MP count and a good lens [no point having 12Mp if the lens can only resolve to the equivelant of 6Mp] which would denote a digital SLR.

I'm pretty sure that all DSLRs have IR filters on them, so IR LEDs on your cap would be useless.

HTH.

Steven R

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Read twice before ranting

Okay I object to the fact that this seems like I am supporting the actions of the court and the police (as I am not), but I take some exception to people not reading clearly, also the rights of photographers is something I am passionate about:

Section 82 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 clearly states:

shall not be used by any person except for purposes related to the **prevention** or detection of crime (** my emphasis).

The Judge stated:

"the company was one which had been the victim of protesters' criminal activity in the past"

So it can be argued that the image was taken to -prevent- a future crime. Yes, this part of the act is the catch-all often found in legislation which allows for interpretation, evolution and evaluation of possible offences. Unfortunately it also allows for the restriction of freedoms but that is often the price we are expected to pay, and is clearly how the judge is interpreting, either that or he just didn't care.

"So by that reasoning, the pictures of police at the Swiss G8 summit were legal"

Sorry Mark, but no. Although you may take a photograph of a police officer walking down the street, or snap a police car in traffic, you may not deliberately take photographs of the police carrying out their duties as this may cause you to breach several differing articles of legislation, and they are context specific. The laws concerning photographs in public spaces allow for people to take snaps of anyone or anything visible from a public location, which includes houses, gardens, etc., though this is without climbing trees or using -specialised- photographic equipment (extreme telephoto lenses or periscopes). There are exceptions to this such as photographs in Royal parks/royal grounds and sensitive buildings - embassies and military installations. Also, temporary exceptions can be made, such as the G8 summit.

You can freely distribute and show images of public places, though if the image shows a celebrity, or a public figure, or if the image shows someone in a light not considered part of 'normal everyday activity' you had best obtain a model release as you may find yourself breaching right to disclosure and privacy acts.

As for the police following him and finding out his details when he had committed no offence, that is a breach of his rights and it constitutes at least a level of harassment, the judge should have ruled in his favour on that matter.

The law is a poorly written ass, speculative rhetoric even more so.

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Alert

Wonder how quickly this got processed?

I note that when Plob is pushing these things get moved through the system fairly fast especially when they are on a sure-fire winner! When my old man got mugged in broad daylight in a tube station foyer, got knocked down and his laptop bag stolen, it took plod 13 months to pull the case in and the felons only got 6 months suspended for assault and theft. Fecking country is going down the u-bend with the corporate sponsored justice system pulling the chain for all they're worth!

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Sam

Re Wayland Sothcott

"He asked an objectionable question at the event .."

Article says UNobjectionable.

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Black Helicopters

Plus ca change

It would be naive to consider just the legal case. This is a very well established technique in a game of control. MI5/The Branch have been expertly turning over the abodes of naughty radicals since forever. The trick is to leave just enough out of place so the target knows they've had a visit.

If you're going to protest for what you believe, be ready to be strong because, as the Chinese say, the nail that stands up gets hammered flat.

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Pirate

Don't get what the problem is...

He's an activist, that's his choice, he can expect to get his collar felt during a period where some 'activists' of one form or other have a habit of exploding, or causing explosions and other less major forms of criminal damage.

If he chooses to ask objectionable questions at high profile meetings, then he can expect everything he gets.

I'd also wager that half the reason he went there was to get noticed in exactly this manner and have something else to moan about.

I hate the nanny state the UK is at the moment as much as anyone, but this guy was asking for it.

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Silver badge
Coat

@CCTV/AC

That's because Plod isn't interested in whether or not the serfs batter/prey on each other.

Since Blair (either one) politicised Plod and proliferated his beloved fast-tracked grads in social engineering to re-mould the plodforce to his requirement, Plod is now only interested in maintaining the power of the state, and forcing us to acknowledge that we exist to serve the state and the soi-disant intellectual elite who comprise it these days.

In the good old days (within my lifetime) the state existed to serve its citizens....

It's been quite a while since.

Mine's the one which says "Taxation Unit X67590/638" where a name tag would have once been...

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Silver badge
Pirate

And what's more.....

As a keen amateur photgrapher (despite being a graphic designer, with over 17 years of experience with Photoshop), I still use a brace of Nikon F4s bodies and Fuji reversal film - so I can't "delete" even if told to.

In almost any of the photographic magazine (try AP), there are a myriad of reports of innocent amateurs feeling - for absolutely no legal reason - the full weight of both Plod AND Plastic Plod (CPSO's); the latter being so intellectually challenged they appear to believe they have powers exceeding those of 007....

Photographers have been dragged to Police Stations (if they're open, of course), home computers seized & examined, memory cards erased on the flimsiest of pretexts - often due to some CPSO.

It appears that many CPSOs have a permanent inferiority complex, and such occurrences prove that often these complexes are thoroughly justified.

However, when it's Plod doing the photography, that's all right then...

And they still wring their hands over "The unprecedented gulf between the police and the general public"...

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RE: Article says UNobjectionable.

"Andrew Wood, a media co-ordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)"

"one question described by the court as "unobjectionable"

So we should assume his question was purely technical with no unstated but probably obvious ulterior motive - unless he was there in some capacity other than as 'a media co-ordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade'. Or simply failed to do his job as same.

Draw attention - get attention and a predictable response... and get a little bit of support and praise from those already so inclined. I doubt very much that any of the participants ran from the meeting weeping with shame... and he managed to get a ruling in favour of the police.

Slick.

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Stop

Photographer's Rights...

Much as I disagree with the actions of the Police, they are using the same laws that apply to other photographers.

When out taking pictures, I carry a copy of the pdf linked from this page: http://www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php

The most relevant sentence is: "Taking photographs of a person in a public place would not normally be considered an invasion of privacy".

If I can photograph the Police in a public place (and I have done so outside the Labour Party conference where they are all holding machine guns), then they can photograph me.

I have also heard that to reduce the risk of getting hassled by the pretend coppers (PCSOs) all you need to do is wear a fluorescent safety vest when out photographing in public.

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@Mark Keating

Im not entirely sure if it was my comment you were commenting or or just this story in general, but what I was trying to get across was that while section 82 of the criminal justice and police act gives rights the police to keep and use fingerprints and samples to prevent and detect crime, it does so with restrictions, that is among other things the prints or samples have to be taken in the course of an investigation to a crime for them to be legally kept.

To me at least it seems the judge has made the decision that photos are a sample so they can be kept and processed, however in making this leap he seems to have extended the rights to cover photos without also extending the restrictions that go with those rights.

If they had fingerprinted him on the street, since they were there incase of trouble rather than investigating a crime, they wouldnt be allowed to keep or process the fingerprints.

Im sure its different in the legal world but to me it seems if you are going to infer a right from existing legislation the restrictions should also go with it.

If you had also extend the restrictions, then the police may still have had the right to take the photos as they are in public, but they would not have had the right to keep or process them into crib sheets :

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/8584/cribdh7.jpg (Mark Thomas is H)

for who to go after at legal demonstrations.

That picture is a screen grab for the excellent film "Taking Liberties" about labours errosion of civil liberties since they came to power.

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You couldn;t make it up

If we were like any other decent country we wouldn't stand for this kind of shit.

The trouble-making activist should have been taken to the nearest station for a collision with a door, the corder of a table, a sink and a fist. Then he might have learnt not to go around wasting police time.

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Pirate

@AC & Wonder how quickly this got processed?

So, I hope you were they when they were released to give them a free ride home...

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Duh.

"So he goes to the AGM, he must have had an invite or he wouldn't have got in. He asked a reasonable question. He left.

The plods photograph him and want his name & address, WHY? Did the photograph the rest of the attendees at that AGM? Did the plods get _their_ names & addresses? Then the plods follow him to an underground station and used the LT staff to force him to hand over his ticket for them to get his name from. Bet he has a standard daily railcard or similar without any ID on it.

The stated reason for this. He _MIGHT_ cause problems in the future.

In that case plods take EVERYONES pictures. because anyone & everyone MIGHT cause you problems in the future. "

You better believe they will/are!

What do you think the idea behind ID cards are? It starts off with name, address, then it will have hobbies, what you buy, your friends, income, emails, your browsing activity, religion, sexuality, political opinions! ETC.

Soon, with the introduction of all this facial recognition and biometric (RETINA scans) all they'll need to do is make sure they get your eyeball in the photo, or perhaps just your face, and your whole damn file will pop up.

Sort of like M15. I don't think they have files on everyone, but you better believe they are planning to do this. Hence the reason why I will always post AC.

Because they are more and more starting to put people on 'watchlists' and try to charge you before you actually DO anything wrong.

Although, it is all just a lame subpoena away anyway. (without me even knowing my data has been requested!)

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Stop

Utterly specious argument

>"The police argued that there was no permanent file being kept on Wood, and that the photographs would be stored and used only by public order officers in order to prevent offences at future events."

And how is it even remotely plausible that you can use a photograph to prevent a future offence? You can't hit someone with a photo like you can with a truncheon. You can't deter someone from a current course of action by taking a photograph of them in the past.

No, this is prior restraint, pure and simple, and the police should be answering charges of perjury right now for this bare-faced lie under oath in court.

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Black Helicopters

@ Mr. Bradshaw and all freedom-loving United Kingdomers

<<< ... while section 82 of the criminal justice and police act gives rights the police to keep and use fingerprints and samples to prevent and detect crime, it does so with restrictions, that is among other things the prints or samples have to be taken in the course of an investigation to a crime for them to be legally kept. >>>

WRONG!!! Well, sorta, overall, at the end of the day, the money on the table is...

You can be arrested for your conduct, but not under tht particular piece of legislation. "Conduct"!!! Try to avoid conduct. To almost-quote Messrs Bird and Fortune (Mr and Mrs J. Foreigner please see: http://www.channel4.com/video/bremner-bird-and-fortune/ ) "Just you try avoiding "conduct"... I mean even sitting quietly with your eyes closed is still "conduct" isn't it!?!?"

And once you are nicked for your "conduct" they got your prints and DNA forever. Oh and they will likely hold you in a cell for at least 12 hours with no food and very little water. They will give you the odd "meal" but believe me I know for a fact (thanks to my choice of natural herbal insomnia treatment) that it ain't "food".

The End.

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RE: Utterly specious argument

"the photographs would be stored and used only by public order officers in order to prevent offences at future events."

...is not a specious argument. Photos can be issued to officers, at some future time (some demo), so that they can identify and watch (or isolate) known troublemakers in order to prevent an offence occurring during the demo.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark Conner

you forget they've also come for those who like t3h hardcore pronz

those who like t3h loliz

I suspect those that like the violent games and normal pronz shall be added to the list soon, oh and the police would like to ban writing things they dislike...

Now lets burn some books.

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Re: RE: Utterly specious argument

When next approached by your local plod, ask them for their identification.

Name,

Rank,

Number.

They are required to identify themselves to any member of the public and such identification is name, rank and serial number.

However

a) the police don't know that

b) the police don't like that

c) the police will arrest you for asking

but this is so that we can catalogue any problem police for misuse or abuse of power.

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Happy

Lots of sore losers on this site, aren't there...?

What most seem to forget is that, whilst World+cousin+dog are exercising their "human rights" to the nth degree, so are the offenders, the ones who are doing the thieving, damaging, and thumping referred to in various whines listed above.

So is it a surprise that convictions aren't being obtained, and given the unrelenting demands from HMG for "efficiency", why would you want public money spent investigating undetectable offence reports?

Didn't you spot Asst Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur stating that there won't be enough police officers to police the Olympics in 2012, because 40% of currently-serving Met officers will have retired by then? The figure is even higher in provincial forces.

So, there won't be many officers around to hassle you by then, isn't that good news? Have a look at the back pages of "Police Review", where there are loads of advertisements for transferees, from forces desperate to keep their numbers up.

Oh, and the "average length of service" for officers on response teams (the ones that come when you ring 999) is dropping like a stone - many are still probationers - so you are going to get the least experienced response.

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Where did you get that idea?

""So by that reasoning, the pictures of police at the Swiss G8 summit were legal"

Sorry Mark, but no. Although you may take a photograph of a police officer walking down the street, or snap a police car in traffic, you may not deliberately take photographs of the police carrying out their duties as this may cause you to breach several differing articles of legislation, and they are context specific."

What 'articles of legislation' are you talking about? Unless you're (literally) getting in their faces and obstructing them in the execution etc., you've as much right to photograph the police in a public place as you have anyone else, AFAIK - whatever they happen to be doing.

Also, I don't see what relevance the situation re. *Swiss* police has to UK law in this area...

Mike

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@Mark - Could this be a persecution complex bordering on masochism?

You’re peddling bollocks again aren’t you?

a) “the Police don’t know that”

What are you talking about moron? Of course they do, the bloody information is deliberately plastered all over their uniform for the whole world to see. UK Police have been wearing their SHOULDER NUMBERS for over 100 years now and NAME BADGES for well over a decade.

Or perhaps you hadn’t noticed?

b) “the police don’t like that”

Maybe not in your fantasy but the reality is that the vast majority are largely indifferent. Stop and think about it for just a second …. how could they be otherwise when they openly WEAR the information in question precisely for people like you to read it without even having to ask.

DUH!

c) “the police will arrest you for asking”

What the hell are you talking about? Why and to what end? To give themselves yet another 2 hours of futile, boring and utterly pointless paperwork? Get real! Or has this too happened to yet another ‘friend’ of yours?

No, I’m sorry, but asking an officer, CIVILLY, for his identity is not remotely contentious and I’m afraid you’re making yourself sound silly. Unless of course this is not actually what you had in mind at all ….?

I can, however, well imagine a mid-fight/disturbance where all kinds of physical shit is taking place all around you. Your hands are full of prisoners and, suddenly, for no apparent reason, some drunken, abusive and provocative ballbag climbs into your face screaming his and everyone else’s rights. The net effect of such behaviour is to invariably to exacerbate the situation and simulate further violence. But there is a whole world of difference between this and the scenario you originally posited.

Do you really believe in even half of the claptrap you seem so keen to spout?

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@ Mark – Mk II - DAMN IT!

First I must apologise for being tired and posting a very incomplete reply by mistake, my meaning was probably lost; this is what I had actually written:

Unless of course civility is not actually the situation you had in mind at all ….?

For example, I recall a number of similar situations at pub turnout time when the inevitable drunk fuelled disturbances occur. It is not that unusual for a copper to have his hands full with struggling prisoners and screaming yobbery and simultaneously having to contend with an otherwise unconnected Ballbag who deems it necessary to step up to offer his hate filed critique of your current performance.

It usually plays out with said Ballbag screaming into your face their erroneous interpretation of events and your alleged breach of his and everyone else’s civil rights. As is usually the case, I’m still trying to calm everything down but the net effect (dare I say intent?) of Ballbag’s intentionally provocative behaviour is to inflame both your detainee and the increasingly volatile crowd now hell-bent on finishing off their evening at your expense. It invariably ends in increased violence and extreme anti-social behaviour in which everyone loses.

Is this more what you had in mind as there is a whole world of difference between this scenario and the one you seemed to imply? But having said that, I of course don’t know what’s going on in your mind, you do not appear to be talking from a particularly informed standpoint.

By the way, the last time this actually happened to me I had spotted a guy wanted for a serious Aggravated Burglary (he felt it necessary to concuss a female OAP in her hallway) leaving a nightclub, the watching crowd, egged on by my particular Ballbag, merely assumed I was arresting him because he was black and turned on me. This being the apparent ‘evidence’ of their own eyes coupled with that well known ‘fact’ that all Police are racist irrespective of their own ethnicity – such is the nature of blind prejudice. Freed by the crowd, he got away (and as far as I know he has yet to be recaptured), and I got yet another roughing up (would you believe that one of my attackers was actually the OAP’s unknowing grandson!!!). I did however manage to arrest the intervening TWAT that inflamed the violence in the first place as he foolishly remained to berate me as my back-up arrived and attackers fled.

… by strange coincidence I seem to recall that his first name was Mark or Marcus, this wouldn’t, by any delicious irony, happen to be you would it?

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Anonymous Coward

what it's really about ..

Dear Reg staff,

Just in case anyone don't get it yet. This is the use of the state apparatus to intimidate people against speaking out against the arms industry ...

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Anonymous Coward

Police intimidation

So they essentially intimidated him... since he wasn't arrested for anything, they had no cause to detain him and he had no cause to hand his details to them and they had no cause to obtain his identity.

"He refused to identify himself and was followed to an underground station where police attempted to learn his identity from his travel documents with the help of London Underground staff."

I find that very very creepy, London Underground similarly had no cause to check his identity either. The police and London Underground conspired to remove his right of privacy. The London Underground police having taken private identity data had a duty to protect that data, even from the police in absence of a crime. They should not have handed that data to the officer, because the officer had no legal cause to ask for it. So people who wish to protest the arms trade will be concerned at the police behaviour and think twice and this ruling means that other protests will be suppressed too.

So what happened to the data? Presumably handed to the spooks?

What happens when you protest Gordon Brown, the unelected leader? What happens when we protest Jacqui Smiths 'lock-em-all-up-just-in-case' mentality? What happens when we protest Scientology? What happens when the officer is a bad-un, or a scientologist or bribed, what protects us from him? Nothing?

Needs to be taken higher. See the kind of disease that's spreading from the UK into Europe? Seriously, Brown is extending detention without CHARGE to 42 days WHY? If they won't charge they shouldn't arrest, not even for 3 days. If there's no charges to face it's tantamount to kidnapping and detention. It's appalling that we would permit such a thing in Europe! We don't want any Guantanamo in Europe, not even if it's only for 42 days so far.

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@Mark Keating

However, the images taken were of plainclothes police who started a riot so that the armed and armoured police can go in and break things up.

Those images were taken from Rackspace computers because the police thought it was illegal to get photos of police.

One MP taking photos outside the Labour Conference (the same one that had the old geezer manhandled out by a 22-ton lardarse security bloke and held on terrorism charges for calling the labour spin a load of bollocks) had his camera taken off him by security, passed to El Plod who then deleted the images, passed them back to security to give back to the owner. Why?

a) security didn't delete anything and gave the camera back

b) the police didn't take the camera so no abuse of power

c) the police removed images requested, so no abuse of power there either

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Snap happy time...

@Scott - The question was "unobjectional" not "objetional" only a minor difference :)

How can this not be invasive thoguh as the police activlly follwed him, used intimidation and bullying tactics and another department to get his name and address (not clear if they actually did or not from the article). The storage of the photos is fine as long as they are either anon photos or media records of the event. As mentioned, he was attending in an "official" capacity so his being there, especially as he asked a question, was resonable.

Just so long as we can still take photos in the street, keeps me happy... :)

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