Where do paparazzi figure in this?
Paparazzi photograph people in unchivalrous fashion all the time. It's how they work. The angry faces and raised fists of the celebs are sometimes triggered by unprintable abuse directed at them by the paps. Anything that gets the shots is good. I'm not passing judgement on the paps - we have a legal system for that. So how many paps have been through the legal system just for doing business as usual?
I understand why the the Home Office don't want to set anything in stone. I understand why police don't like to be photographed. I understand why the whole police chain of command would like the coppers on the ground to be able to say "stop photographing" as and when they feel necessary, and then have their actions backed retrospectively. I understand why police don't want to be confronted by street lawyers quoting the law at them.
But the police understand, as do we all, why people want to take things that aren't theirs, why people sometimes want to attack, hurt or kill people that have upset them, or indeed, how people can decide to drive themselves home after taking a skinful. They understand, even as they make the arrests. Which is why we set down laws: to stop us from doing things like that, which any of us might find attractive at some point.
Laws are difficult to get right. They are difficult to fine-tune. It is sometimes difficult to prevent them from catching things that they shouldn't touch, even with the best will in the world. Ultimately, they reflect our imperfect state of being (as described above), and that is the only reason for tolerating their existence.
So we have to make do with what we have - a law making body full of expert (*please* don't make me a liar here) legal officers who are supposed to come up with these precise definitions of what we should and shouldn't do. So, sirs, we'd like a precise definition of what we are allowed to do with our cameras in public places. This is what you're paid to do, by us. It's not as if we're suggesting that you go and arrest someone other than us - a "real criminal" - as the boys in blue are so often directed. Thanks. Any time in the next three months will do.