back to article Photocops: Home Office concedes concern

The Home Office has at last conceded that the policing of photographers requires a little more scrutiny. Tory MP and Assistant Chief Whip John Randall extracted an admission from the Home Office that it was an issue in need of further review. Print Display worker Piers Mason can bear this out, having been stopped and questioned …

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Agreed

Its slowly happening :-(

Can't we have a greater london take pictures of police day or something ?!

Upload them all to something web2.0 like flickr

Probably get the anti-terrorist squad on us all for overuling them

Franco would have loved our police, few more years of this and we'll be just like his Guardia Civil and their little coup. All we need now is the dictator ?! :-p

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Black Helicopters

Hardly surprising..

As our 2nd-Home Secretary is assiduously following the likes of the Straw man and "Brains" Reid in being hell-bent in turning the UK police into NuLab's personal enforcers, it's not surprising these things are on the increase...

1) Plod enforces the law as it is

2) Plod enforces the law as he sees it to be

3) Plod enforces the law that isn't yet law but he thinks should be

4) Plod excuses himself from being subject to any variety of law as he's too busy enforcing, interpreting, interpolating and interfering.

NuLabour - NuCheka.

Even when these sleazy miscreants have been prised from office, it will take one hell of a long time to repair the wanton damage they have visited upon the infrastructure and the very social fabric of what used to be a great country.

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So....

What reasons does an officer have to give for asking your details/what you're doing etc?

If you don't feel that the request is justified, would this then be seen as suspicious and grounds for a search?

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Suspicious behaviour

We're heading towards a situation where the only non-suspicious behaviour is sitting at home drooling in front of the telly.

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Alert

Suspected what?

"Suspected crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour"?! If they can't specify which of those they suspect, surely they don't have reasonable grounds to exercise the power?

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A video of me being asked to stop filming...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=Aal4Dw7gYAs

It really annoyed me because he threatened to take my phone.

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Duh!

"Home Office Under-Secretary Shahid Malik agreed that the incidents described were regrettable and that counter-terror legislation was not intended to be used in this way"

So will we actually see the police concerned being disciplined? No? Perhaps we will see the law being updated to correct the anomalies? Oh look, there is a Gloucestershire Old Spot with wings - must have been on the Red Bull last night.

I don't think that it is Guy Fawkes we need - it's Oliver Cromwell.

“you have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!.”

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UK police are becoming terrorists

based on the simple definition that their actions cause unneccessary fear amongst the general population.

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Warning Mr. Randall -- cavity search ahead!

Clearly now being listed in various DB's will be enough to make sure that any trip via any UK point of entry or exit will now be an excruciatingly enjoyable experience. What's really sad is that Gargle is doing far more voyeuristic activities, and getting away with it all.

Mr Randall, i hope you showed them where your telephoto could fit! WTF is next prey tell, Jackboots and Jodphurs for MI5 & MI6?

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Double Standards

Ok, so its ok for Google Street view, but not for the rest of us private individuals. Double Standards as usual....

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give em an inch..

and they'll turn the Met into a huge cartel intent on bullying the public into submission. Maybe Gordon sent a secret memo to them to ensure he stays elected by scaring the entire populace into his way of thinking?

Anyway, nice to see they've admitted the entire thing is a load of bollocks shoved in to get some scare tactics out the door, but how many years before they actually do something about it? Unlikely they'll bother is my thinking. Crooks

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Anonymous Coward

PACE stop is the least of the problems

Read this one, the Jazz musician whose home was raided by armed anti-terror police.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/wales/south_east/7963290.stm

How much fear is caused by terrorists and how much fear by the posters the MET puts up, and the raids on peoples homes, and the stop and search and the guns in the face, and the constant 'be afraid' messages from Jacqui Smith and her cronies?

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Flame

try adding assault into the bargain

check out this poor sod's story from up here in sunny Newcastle upon Tyne;

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-evening-chronicle/2009/04/07/police-pounce-on-visitor-for-taking-photos-of-city-72703-23329761/

To recap:

1. "plain" cloths copper forces innocent photo taking member of public into allyway,

2. copper makes serious allegations without any evidence,

3. copper fails to identify himself as a copper when asked,

4. copper assaults innocent member of public,

5. copper then has the brass neck to charge the victim with disorderly conduct 'cos he swore at the thug who had just assaulted him.

The coppers up her used to be a reasonable bunch but nowadays i woudn't piss on one if it was on fire. Come the glorious day comrades...

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Not all of them!

I was a little cheeky the other week... I saw two motorcycle cops parked up on the Mall, and thought they'd make an interesting picture... So I asked if they minded, and they were perfectly friendly and even asked if I'd like them to pose in any particular way!

However, if confronted by a Nazi, sorry I mean member of the force who is over stepping his authority, just remember that most of them are about as technically savvy as an 8 year old. Be friendly, compliant, and show them your photos so they can Identify which ones that offend them. Delete the pictures.

Then before taking any more, swap your memory card... It's only FAT, so undelete!

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Stop

@ Ted Green

In case you didn't read the article properly, the particular searches referred to were being carried out under S1 of PACE which was passed in (appropriately enough) 1984 under the Tories.

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Happy

If you ever...

...want to take a picture of a police officer on duty, please feel free to contact me! lol. I think the MPS do themselves a disservice, out here in the counties I'll even smile if someone wants a picture.

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Pirate

Not just activists

Im not an activist in any way. As an ordinary citizen I see the police behaving in a way that seems to thereaten my freedom in my own country. They exist to serve the community - not to control it. I often wonder if the creation of the PCSO is being used to sneak in a new tier of policing, where "real" police officers will be used purely to "enforce" the current will, while the community park keepers do the more mundane stuff with shoplifters burglars etc.

So it isnt just "activists" who view much of the attitude of the "modern police force" as abusive. There is social control being excersised here and if our elected representatives dont put a stop to it, not only will they prove their complicity in the abuse, but enevitable they will become victims of it themselves if their views are not aligned with the "party line" A mix of 1984 and Clockwork Orange comes to mind.

*Pirate because we have no jackboot icon - we have to defend ourselves against those who would plunder our freedoms

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It's OK to swear at the police...

@Dave

There's Precedent (just don't know the details - anyone?) - for some time now plod has been expected to be a little less thin skinned in the performance of duty, so apart from anything else that would have been false arrest (IANAL - but I can wear a wig if you like). Even so, a bit of common sense would...

scratch that thought.

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@Nick Palmer

Dead right. I'd hazard a guess that most of the numbnuts round here who are even old enough to remember didn't have a problem with Thatcher's militia fucking over the miners good and proper - real British people fighting for the survival of their communities - but when it comes to seeing exactly where the rot set in suddenly have memories like goldfish.

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Happy

The funny thing is...

just how simple it is to retrieve deleted photos from memory cards!!!.

Plod (unlawfully) orders you to delete photos, you comply, you then do JPEG recovery later on and then finally sue plod for ordering you do it in the first place.

win / win

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Anonymous Coward

2006 Nanny knows best act

This isn't PACE from 1984, this is the new NANNY PACE, from 2006, with all those creepy NuLabour additions to it.

POLICE AND JUSTICE ACT 2006

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2006/en/ukpgaen_20060048_en_1.htm

So no, PACE 1984 was not the law that was used here, it never mentioned the anti-social behaviour or allowed arrest of photographers. That was brand spanking new from Nanny Jacqui.

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Iceland?

Just ask anyone from Iceland about appropriate usage of terrorist legislation. There are good reasons why we've not had certain laws until this government saw fit to pass them. Even the old terrorism acts had sell-by dates on them to force parliament to debate and renew them every few years. A great shame we didn't manage to get at least that provision into the current lot.

As for being questioned about photographs, make sure you get the numbers of the police officers concerned and report them.

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Black Helicopters

*sigh*

When did the UK Police turn into a paramilitary force? Surely, if there was any *real* threat of terrorism taking place on UK soil then any *competent* government would ensure that highly trained military soldiers were available to run anti-terror operations rather than a civilian police force comprised of illiterate, prejudiced, uneducated thugs?

Anonymous for obvious reasons.

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Paris Hilton

@McFlurry and other serving coppers

Welcome aboard. As you may gather from what I write, I do talk to real police as well as the Met press office. The view from the street is rarely quite as optimistic or cut-and-dried as that from on high.

Just nodding in to say that if anyone else wishes to drop me a line...I'm always happy to chat.

And for the record...this formalisation lark is something that more than one officer has mentioned to me: basically, stop a member of the public and ask them what they're up to and that's one game. Stop same member of public for same reason, fill out carbon copy form, stick details on to a database, and the result, in terms of public relations is vastly different.

Paris, cause even now, "les flics" make most British police look like pussycats

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Anonymous Coward

Propaganda works on police too

Unfortunately, the police in both the UK and the US are being subjected to the same barrage of propaganda as the public - "OMFGWTFBBQ!!1!!1! There be TERRORISTS and PAEDOPHILES and FNORDS everywhere! BE VIGILANTE or they will contaminate your precious bodily fluids!!!!!"

Day in and day out the police are told that everybody *could be* a criminal, that they, the police, are the "thin blue line" that protects society (not that the police have any obligation to protect any specific MEMBER of that society, mind you), that the police must "watch their backs", danger lurks around every corner and in every encounter with the public, etc.

Is it any wonder that the police develop an "us vs. them" mindset, that they treat everybody like a criminal, that any deviation from what the policeman thinks is "acceptable" is treated as a crime?

This is NOT to excuse such behavior, but it does explain it.

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Pirate

Welcome to the new world, citizens.

This is all simply a symptom of the dual NuLab "govern by targets" and "govern by surveillance" doctrines.

If the Plod do not fill out sufficient forms, they fall short of targets, and get a bollocking from their uniformed civil servant masters.

You can read all about it on this excellent blog

http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com

It is also an essential activity in order to justify the cost of the über database. "Input, I need Input" (No. 5 is Alive in Short Circuit).

It's utterly pathetic, and I am certain that the majority of the Plod hate it as much as we do. There will of course always be the minority little Hitlers. They crop up everywhere, but predominantly in uniform.

For the record, I am not called Sergie (no surprise there!), and this post was accomplished via JonDo/JonDoFox in Firefox with NoScript and cookies disabled. The UK Stasi is not tracking this pissed off elector/tax payer, as far as I can prevent it, thank you very much. I have relatives who died in the fight against this type of thing.

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."

Edward Abbey

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I'm sick of whingeing Poms

To all you characters in Little Britain (once known as Great Britain) who have a predictable and boring collective moan each time a further outrage against your liberty is publicized: could you please just shut up.

If you want your liberty you will have to do what others, including your ancestors, have had to do through the ages: fight for it. If you meekly submit to the increasing assault on your rights and freedom, if each time a bullyboy bobby orders you to hand over your camera you do so without standing up to him, then don't whine about it. No one is interested. If you are not prepared to defend your rights then you don't deserve them.

Of course standing up for yourselves can be costly. You may have to fight. You may be arrested, perhaps manhandled. It's inconvenient, costly, embarrassing and you may even end up being convicted by what now laughably passes for a “justice system” on your little island. (It may be small comfort that you no longer have the prospect of meeting one of the Pierrepoints. But who knows what New Labour has in store for the future.) So you are going to have to weigh it all up for yourselves. “Give me liberty or give me what?”

But do us all a favour and stop moaning about it.

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Paris Hilton

GAH! - What rock are they living under?

Are our overwatch lords and masters not aware that there is a fleet of cars driving around the UK at the moment taking high resolution 360 degree photographs of the entire country!!!!

Any terrorists / activists / protesters don't even need to take photos or even do a "site survey" any more. They can just use Google earth & street view.

MY GOD! I makes me wonder what bunch of morons is running this excuse for a big brother police state.

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Black Helicopters

@Nick Palmer

1)

My name isn't 'Green'

2)

Let's all blame the wicked Tories for everything. The fact that they never attempted to control & keep tabs on us is meaningless:- as we all know, Labour is an organisation totally democratic & altruistic, and so solidly pro the noble proletariat & peasantry, that any nasty sleazy shenanigans simply cannot be their fault - it HAS to be those wicked Tories or your hardwired unthinking prejudice might explode under the onslaught of reality!

______________________________________________

@Steen Hive

'Spose it was nothing to do with that well-known philanthrope, Arthur Scargill who was so concerned for the poor miners that he didn't even bother them with a ballot on their strike!

I'm sure the taxi-driver murdered by pickets in S Wales (concrete bombed from a bridge above the carriageway) would agree they'd been driven to it by the heartless Tories.

The fact is that British deep mines for narrow coal seams were outdated and too expensive to compete with much cheaper open-cast mines abroad. Coal was also being recognised as a dirty fuel and was on its way out. The majority of miners got a redundancy settlement of which we can only dream today.

Descending to crudities in your writing does I'm afraid, go some way towards diminishing the value of your argument - assuming there was any value in it initially - or are you merely trying to establish good proletarian credentials?

I despair for the future of our country.

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Assumption

"officers have complained to us that it should not be in any way surprising if police occasionally stop individuals and ask them to explain their presence in an area"

So, guilty until proven innocent, then. Nice to have it confirmed...

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I think I've the angle on this now...

The home office sets the policy but cannot be involved in operational matters. Remember Michael Howard...

The Polices Forces interpret the Policy.

The Police Authorities holds their Chief Constable to account, after their own fashion.

The Constables do as the CC directs.

Thus we have what we have...

How do we get representatives with spine onto the PAs? How do we hold them accountable?

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@ Joe M

It's called free speech.

No-one is forcing you to read it.

And if the injuctices are inequities are not highlighted, how will people learn about it?

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Stop

That guy who died in the demonstrations last week

I just think its somewhat ironic that the Met are asking if anyone managed to photograph that poor fellow who died of a heart attack after being caught up in the heavy-handed policing of last weeks peaceful demonstrations.

It would have been illegal to take a photograph of the police stomping him to death.

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Whingeing Poms

@Joe M

We are fighting back. We are doing it through media such as this.

In the meantime you may care to take up a different cause; read this:

http://secure.wikileaks.org/wiki/Western_internet_censorship:_The_beginning_of_the_end_or_the_end_of_the_beginning%3F

It looks like your own government has embraced the same doctrine as ours, and gone further. Have a happy arrest!

Oh! And throw a prawn on the barbie for me while enjoying a tinnie.

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Heart

Big Up Joe M

I second that emotion

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@Joe M

I think a trip to the hospital is in order for you my good man, as your head clearly needs extracting from your own backside.

If you dont like the story, if you dont like the comments, make use of the liberty you enjoy and just dont read it.

The rest of us will carry on moaning, because thankfully youre not in any position to tell us to do otherwise.

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Buildings

Is there a SINGLE case of Terrorists taking photos of buildings?

Besides there are cheap covert cameras.

This is State Organised Terrorism.

The killing, burning, beating, destruction is only a means to an end with terrorists. The aim is to frighten and disrupt normal life. Too many governments doing the job for them.

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Coat

A little perspective, Jaqui

Perhaps someone should remind her that several thousand photographs of the Houses of Parliament are taken every day by swarthy foreign types posing as 'tourists'? There are even special buses that bring them in! The horror!

Oh and while we're at it I heard on Radio 4 at the weekend that Jaqui is also introducing *lie detector tests* for ex sex offenders; WTF? Those things shuldn't be used on anyone, they are so unreliable, and the cynicism of introducing them *first* to a group no-one cares about really gets my goat (but not in an extreme porn sense, Jaqui - just vanilla like your husband).

/Rant

//Does this coat count as a disguise?

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Anonymous Coward

In defence of Joe M

Assuming he is Australian (the Poms bit): This is probably the only website left that his government hasn't blocked so he has no choice but to post his inane arse-waterings here.

And to be fair, he has to get his insults in quickly because he is soon off to highlight *all* the injustices in his own country which will certainly mean a depravation of personal liberty for the immediate future.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this really what you signed up for, Mr Plod?

No-one who saw footage (I mean real footage, not media-slanted) of last week's G20 demo can have the slightest doubt that we're now well on the road to a police state in this country.

Throughout the country people observe that policing has degenerated to ticking forms for cheap pinches while real criminals walk the streets smirking. In my locality, the police have become, not the answer, but actually part of the problem - in short they've become a damn nuisance to the very citizens they ought to be protecting.

And given their wholesale acquiescence with what is now - unquestionably - political policing, are there NO police officers with a conscience? Is there no-one in police uniform in this country prepared to say, "Enough is enough! This is NOT what I signed up for!"?

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Anonymous Coward

Daily Police Photo Blog

There's a blog of photos of the supposed public servants going by the name of Police at http://dailypolicephoto.blogspot.com/

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Tom
Alert

Gordon Brown's Gestapo at work.

It's appalling to read that it took three members of the police force to approach one man & his camera. Surely, all that was required was for one officer to approach and hold a general conversation, whereby the office could then determine if there was "reasonable suspicion" to take matters further?

Could it be that the use of three officers in this incident under the PACE Act is tantamount to intimidation? Shouldn't the police officers concerned in this incident of made it categorically clear as to their reasons for stopping this man in the street (albeit a street in London, and on the day of the G20 tea party). If not, and they only give their reason as "action per actions" on the slip, then I would assume that those officers had no lawful reasons or reasonable suspicion to stop this man.

I personally advise others to formally ask the police when stopped under the PACE Act, as to the reason(s) for being stopped and to have that reason recorded appropriately.

Surely the time has now arrived here in the UK that we should remind our politicians that they are elected to serve us the public and not for them to dictate to us their electorate, and the same for the Police, that they are employed to serve and protect the public and not to harass, intimidate and behave in a fashion more accustomed to Hitlers Gestapo?

We should all be very concerned, and in doing so we should set about educating the public on their lawful rights in how to deal with such situations. This current government with it's unelected prime minister needs to be ousted at the next election.

Footnote.

To those having a pop @Joe M, preach what you write, after all Joe M is entitled to his comments under Free Speech, and if you don't like what he writes, then don't read it. For me, personally, I utterly and completely disagree with Joe M. Furthermore, Joe M would do well to take heed of Richard Cain's comments.

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Anonymous Coward

In defense of Joe M

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I don't think he's far wrong. All we do is bitch about it in forums. The Internet is great for raising awareness, but that alone won't change anything. But i'm also a pacifist, so the best I can hope for is a new government with >0.0 moral fibre or ethics.

I am deeply disturbed by our liberties being stripped away by NuLab in the name of terrorism.

Where do we even start...

1] every liberty they take, every inconvenience they pose on us is pandering to the terrorists - WRONG MOVE

2] the government argued anti-terrorism laws into being on the basis that in extreme cases they need these powers...... Fine, but reserve them for that. I'm surprised they 'scope creeped' on this so very quickly by proving they always intended to apply them carte-blance with any excuse - WRONG MOVE

3] if you have the slightest belief that there could have been more to 9/11 or 7/7 than random terrorist incidents, then you also know the theory that they happened because our governments needed the excuse to do this to us. There was only one RIGHT MOVE - to apply these laws in a highly restrictive and justified manner that breeds trust. They haven't, and have so now accidently/intentionally (delete as appropriate) played out the exact motives for such a conspiracy.

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cf. Citizen's Arrest - Wiki

If a constable has removed your property without a warrant they have committed a breach of the peace and therefore (under (3) above) may be arrested using powers of Citizen's Arrest.

I'd like to see (well actually I'd pay to see) someone try this on their own, but if there's more than one person I don't see any reason why it might not be worth a go.

As far as the courts are concerned the police are just as bound by the law as everyone else and if they won't abide by the law off their own backs then we just need to 'instruct' them.

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Conundrum

Interesting that a Constable or a PCSO asking me to delete a photograph is acting illegally. Can anyone confirm that I can then carry out a citizens arrest on said criminal if I'm feeling suicidally brave?

Attack being the best form of defence, it's worth a go.

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Black Helicopters

Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died

It looks like despite the polices best efforts to ban all photographic/video recording in public someone did manage to video the assault on the man who died of a heart attack at the G20 summit, the video is available on the guardian website here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault

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Happy

Google Streat View...

Must just cause those PhotoCops to go apopleptic!

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Flame

The real reason the police want to harrash photographers

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7988828.stm

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