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back to article Too-tall terror snapper stopped by cops again

If the law doesn’t quite fit, then Kent Police are not above making it up as they go along. That is the conclusion of local photographer Alex Turner who, following his arrest last week for being too tall – and possibly looking like a terrorist – was stopped by police again on Sunday, and required to hand over ID. Turner, perhaps …

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Knowing your rights is one thing

But it's not much use in cases like this where they arrest you first then decide what they arrested you for afterwards, whilst apparently being under no obligation to actually tell you what they came up with. I was under the impression that there was some legal recourse for being wrongfully arrested, or does that only apply if they can't come up with a reason afterwards?

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blue card

I do hope the Bureau of Photographers is going to update its Blue Card, which is a small pocketsized card with a breif summary of the law regarding photography in public places. It is for the benifit of the photographer and also to perhaps produce to an officer upon what may be an illegal stop and search.

link below.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/photography_body_launches_rights_card_news_257561.html

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JMB

Kent plod

I hope that Kent Police will be prosecuting the people behind this website which shows photographs of Kent police officers without blanking out their faces. Must be an aid to terrorists.

http://www.kent.police.uk/News/Events/Events.html

http://www.kent.police.uk/News/Latest_News/Forecourt%20Watch%20scheme.html

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Big Brother

Police

Thugs with legal authority.

Time for a revolution.

Not AC, because my dad fought a war to protect our freedoms and if we don't stand and be counted then we will all fall.

BB can go fsck himself

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Anonymous Coward

Brixton Riots needed

It seems we cannot ensure British freedom without another riot. You may recall the Brixton riots and the subsequent riots across Britain were a result of rozzers using a stop-and-search power to intimidate the public.

You realize that right now some overzealous rozzer is looking at that first sentence and deciding if he can claim it is incitement and an arrestable offence. You can't even ensure freedom of speech in the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

I found this even more sinister...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/5878521/Harry-Potter-actor-sentenced-for-growing-cannabis.html

[quote]Waylett and his long-term friend John Innis, 20, were stopped under the Terrorism Act in Lodge Road, St John's Wood, west London, after the actor took a photograph of a police patrol as they drove past.

Innis' black Audi was searched and police discovered a butterfly lock-knife under the driver's seat and eight small bags of herbal cannabis.

When the officers examined the mobile phone on which the shots had been taken, they found images of cannabis plants which Waylett admitted were his[/quote]

Personally I don't touch the stuff, never have, no intention too, and don't in any way condone its use, but bloody 'ell this sounds likean abuse of police powers...

Anonymous, because otherwise they might come round and "find" something at my house...

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WTF?

Unbelievable!

I would have thought the police would have learnt from the first time around that it's a bit of a PR disaster to arrest someone just taking pictures. I wonder if anyone has asked them if they have arrested anyone taking pictures who has PROVED to be a terrorist? My bet is 0 (zero).

AC because I take pictures in towns as well.

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Stop

What they sow...

This is starting to backfire on plod.

They really need to inform their officers of what the law is, and how to apply it properly.

I see the same backlash as in Brixton and Handsworth if they continue, and that really is no good for anyone

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Big Brother

See also Harry Potter case

Another case of arresting someone just for taking a picture was that of the Harry Potter actor convicted of growing cannabis. He was just taking pictures from his car with his mate which happened to include a police person, they stopped him, looked at his pictures and found a picture of a cannabis plant. They then investigated further and searched his home. I wonder if the case should have been allowed in the first place if the act of viewing the pictures was a bit dodgy in legal terms.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8153908.stm and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200125/Harry-Potter-actor-Jamie-Waylett-court-admitting-growing-cannabis.html.

J

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Secret laws

So the police can stop and search people only if there is an s44 authorisation, but they keep secret the places where such an authorisation is in force.

How is this different from "the police can stop and search anyone, anywhere?" No-one can safely refuse, because there's always the danger that the police have a secret authorisation.

Secret laws mean that the police are not bound by law.

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gfs
Thumb Down

Totalitarianism

"I am confident that the public would want us to do this to ensure their safety and well-being"

This statement is the scariest part of this article, the shadow of totalitarianism lurks behind this kind of thinking.

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Grenade

Chatham...

Why would anyone possibly want to prevent terrorist offences from taking place in Chatham?

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Stop

Disgusting behaviour...

... as we've come to expect from these useless cretins "upholding the law." Do they really think anyone is being protected by this stupid waste of police time?

GO AND CATCH SOME CRIMINALS, for crying out loud, instead of harassing people.

Utterly pathetic.

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Big Brother

They really want us to hate them don't they?

"With regard to this specific incident there was a need to establish the identity of the man in question"

What "need"? This is the crux of the matter, the Kent police don't seem to understand that law isn't there so they can do what they like. The day is fast coming when we're all going to need cameras on at all times just to protect ourselves from our so-called guardians.

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Photograph without fear of arrest

Oddly webcams for Chatham on the BBC site and weather-forecast.com sites don't work but go to http://www.lordswoodonline.co.uk/localwebcam.htm and there's a lovely picture of Rochester High Street just up the road (sorry) courtesy of Medway Council.

And if Kent Plod reads this you need to go to

Gun Wharf

Dock Rd, Chatham, ME4 and arrect Medway Council Chief Exec.

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Unhappy

must think of something pithy

"Once this had been done and officers were confident that no offences had been committed the man was allowed on his way and no further action was taken"

I'll try a bit of boolean (IT angle). If the police are "confident" that you haven't committed an offence, they can still require you to identify yourself to them or face detention and "further action". That sounds like ID on demand. If this is how they're thinking before ID cards come into being, imagine leaving your house without one when they become widely available. Voluntary my arse.

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Black Helicopters

Oh, and another thing

Wear down resistance to the abuse of police powers by harrassing those that have the balls to challenge it.

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Yay Fascism

At least Mussolini got the trains running on time, I have yet to see this benefit.

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Police

Arsedick.

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"Kent" police?

Is that a typo? They sound like a right bunch of kents to me!

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Coat

Growing up in Northern Iron'

Growing up in Northern Iron' I and everyone that lives there is used to this level of harassment by the police.

First of all it starts with Tough Policing then it moves to Aggressive Policing and before you know it Police sanctioned murder. 'We couldn't get the evidence but we knew he was guilty'.

I moved here 18 years ago and was amazed the police didn't have guns or the seriously bad attitude. You could stop and have a chat with a policeman about nothing much and it would be a largely pleasant conversation. Even if they were investigating you for some minor misdemeanour.

Now England feels just like home where the police are to be avoided at all costs.

Lament your loss of Freedom because once its gone it will never come back.

icon: I'll get my coat as I am looking for my next overseas home where I can raise my family in peace. Its not too much to ask.....Is it?.

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Big Brother

Utter crap

"...there are occasions when it is necessary for the police to address the behaviour of individuals."

Surely this would be when they were committing or seemed to be preparing to commit an offence - a real one, not the fantasy imaginary kind that the Stalinist wing of the Met have wet dreams over. Even a copper ought to be able to muster enough common sense to see when this might be the case.

The bland, emotionless "protect the public" cut and paste that gets banged out after every one of these incidents has the dabs of Labours PR boys all over it (what was the line from the Iraq spin? "creating realities", I think) and makes the police look as stupid as it does Labour unelectable.

It's about time the few reasonable politicians left addressed the behaviour of the police.

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Flame

Oh come now...

"The key to this story is what the law says on the subject of ID, terror and arrests."

Pfff. Nonsense! We're the Police, the law has nothing to do with it...

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Linux

Still breaking the law

Interesting to note that when the police ran an identity check, information came up about the local photoraphers' planned protest in support of him and he was questioned about this as part of a 'background check'. So as well as the arrest, there's also 'soft information' about his perfectly legal activities being held by the police on a database somewhere.

And despite this story being all over the national media, he was again told that failure to produce ID would result in an arrest.

It's a shame that he didn't insist on his legal rights on this occasion, but given his earlier experience I don't blame him. It's a good example though of how the police have bullied a law abiding member of the public into modifying their behaviour, while they carry on breaking the law with impunity.

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Flame

Presumption of Guilt?

"With regard to this specific incident there was a need to establish the identity of the man in question. Once this had been done and officers were confident that no offences had been committed the man was allowed on his way and no further action was taken."

So, we now have to satisfy the police that we're innocent? Otherwise we'll get arrested? (What are the implications for "enhanced" CRB checks there, I wonder?) 'Suspicion' is now nothing more than the police not being "confident that no offences had been committed"? Who says we're not a police state?

"Whilst the specific circumstances of this incident need to be established there are occasions when it is necessary for the police to address the behaviour of individuals. I am confident that the public would want us to do this to ensure their safety and well-being."

And who elected Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley to act as the public's representative? No one!

When it comes to what "the public would want", that's what Parliament is for. The police have to take the law as stating what the public want. They have an obligation, a duty, to uphold the law - it's the whole [REDACTED] point of having police in the first place! Upholding the law is what they're for, for crying out loud! They have no legal right to act unlawfully on the basis of what they, in their personal opinions, happen to think "the public would want". And they know this.

When they abduct members of the public (surely what unlawful arrest effectively is), they are acting as criminals, committing crimes against the public they're supposed to serve and protect. We, the public, need to be protected from these criminals. Who's going to do that? We'll have to do it ourselves.

"A demonstration is now planned near Chatham High Street on 15 August in order to assert the right of photographers to continue to photograph in public, in the face of police bullying."

This sounds like a job for FIT WATCH! http://www.fitwatch.blogspot.com/

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its obvious why they arrested him.

"he's a jailbird, sir!"

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Silver badge

Civil disobedience?

About bloody time.

>A demonstration is now planned near Chatham High Street on 15 August

I hope they follow my suggestion in the comments to the previous article and do a few silly walks to liven up the event.

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Big Brother

Support

I say give this man the support he needs, this country needs more people like him questioning our overlords and there powers to stop and harass inoccents.

These anti-terror laws are doing as much damage as any terrorist has, placing fear and distrust in the populace. How soon before you will not even need a camera before the police can stop and search you and demand ID for no reason what so ever. Its a slippery slope and we maybe past the tipping point.

There is one single, very slim up side to this he wasn't locked up for 42 days without charge but if LAbour had whipped harder this may have not been the case.

NuLiebour destroying the country before there thrown out of power, or as an article i read someone pointed out mineing the political field before the next elected goverment get in.

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Big Brother

Ummm

There was a phrase I once heard that I was told was the founding block of English law:

_something_ until proven guilty

I've forgotten what the first bit is though* - can anyone remind me?

*it sounds like Kent Police have forgotten it too...

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Grenade

Respect for police.....

The police bleat about the lack of respect they get from certian quarters of the community. Well, if they keep pulling crap like this, what do they expect. Eventually, even law abiding citizens will either treat them with the disdain that they increasingly deserve, or they'll cower in fear every time they see a copper in case they get dragged down the station on a whim.

Welcome to NuLabor's Gestapo. No dictator should be without a totalitarian police operation.

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Photograph a copper

Anyone on the face book interwebs thing might be interested in this group encouraging people to photograph the police as a fsck you to them:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=66111240389

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Silver badge
Flame

Great news!

"Once this had been done and officers were confident that no offences had been committed the man was allowed on his way "

So we are now legally permitted to walk down the street minding our own business! As long, that is, as we have previously proved our innocence to the police.

So every jumped up arrogant little pocket hitler plod can now graciously 'allow' us on our way once we've kissed his arse enough?

"Oh dear, why don't the public like us?"

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, they do demand ID - and a search.

I'm UK born and bred, a history lecturer, and don't think I in any way look like a terrorist.

On a recent visit trip down to the British Museum, I was taking some pictures of the building's classic exterior, when I was approached by two police. I had to answer a list of questions, provide ID, AND let them have a look in my bag.

And yes, I wimped out, and let them. I was on a tight schedule and didn't want to be delayed any more than they already had. But I really hate the way this country is heading.

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Big Brother

@'Presumption of guilt?'

"When it comes to what "the public would want", that's what Parliament is for."

That may be what Parliament is \for\, but it is not what Parliament \does\. I wonder if Oliver Cromwell foresaw the un-representative monstrosity that has formed from his democratic dreams? How many of us have \not\ heard stories of voters being told to shut up ang go away by their MP? And not just in light of the Expenses scandal, either.

On the subject of the increasing abuse of "anti-terror" laws, how long before Our Glorious Leader and his underlings realise that voting stations would make wonderful targets for Terrorists intent on stopping our democratic process and decide to make sure that polling stations are safe by not telling us where they are; knowing the location of your local Polling Station will become illegal as it would be knowledge of use to terrorists, so you can either arrest yourself, report yourself to the nearest anti-terrorist officer and wait for the boys in black to remodel your front door, or forget about voting until the threat level diminishes sufficiently for the knowedge to be "safe" to have again...

And you wondered how that nice Mr Brown intended to hold onto the reins of power beyond his five-year term... oh excuse me, I hear a knock at the door...

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Megaphone

Let them arrest you if you can

They used to arrest us hunt sabs in Leicestershire like this. They would arrest you in the morning on a spurious charge and let you go 8 hours later when the hunt was over.

So we started suing them for wrongful arrest. 30 grand of compensation later they stopped doing it. It's about 600 quid an hour. It is the *only* way you can hurt them.

Go for it !

Of course you do have to be sure you're not doing anything that will stick, snapping pictures of shops and passers by seems prime for a bit of fun, I might even try it myself once I get the bodies out of the freezer.

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Anonymous Coward

Vote

Vote Fascist for a 3rd glorious decade of total law enforcment!

Be a government informer, betray your family & friends, fabulous prizes to be won.

Red Dwarf called it lol.

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Thumb Up

Size

Doesn't matter how tall you are when they've got you by the short and curlies.

This is exactly the kind of thing Mark Thomas loves, the organisers should get in touch with him.

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Big Brother

DNA

Any word on whether he had his DNA swab the first time around? Or do we just take that as a given?

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Unhappy

@Aleksis

I think you'll find that the "_something_" is "innocent"... but you knew that anyway. Irony, see, we all understand that. Except them thar folks from over that thar pond.

But the "until" should actually be "unless". The difference is very, very important:

"until" == presumption of guilt

"unless" == suspicion of guilt.

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FAIL

This makes me sad and angry equally.

This kind of thing makes me hate the police.

They were useless when my motorbike was stolen, and when my house was burgled all they did was give me a crime number and tell me that they wouldn't be able to catch the person who did it and the best hope was that the person would admit to it when they were caught red-handed for something else, to get a reduced sentence on all their crimes.

Now, I have to be afraid that if I am somewhere that the police might consider to be somewhere where someone shouldn't be taking pictures (perhaps somewhere they consider not to have architectural merit?) that I might get arrested. Heaven help me they're plain clothed, armed and start chasing me without announcing that they are police - I'll probably end up with many bullet holes in my head.

Why would anyone these days actually assist the police with anything? Why would anyone be happy to see a policeman on the streets? What the hell is going on in this country?

In all seriousness, I've looked at Canada. On their immigration points system, I actually qualify. I really like this country - I chose to move here from my native Denmark after all, but Canada (I have visited many times) feels like the country I remember falling in love with and moving to. Britain just isn't feeling like that any more, it's really sad.

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Silver badge
Big Brother

Catch-22

So if police ask me for ID I am not legally obliged to show them any, but my failure to do so is automatically a suspicion marker that allows them to arrest me preventatively to verify my ID.

BB obviously

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The Law?

can anyone provide a link, or information on exactly what the law is regarding photography, under what circumstances the police may or may not stop or search someone, and under what circumstances a member of the public is required to provide an officer with any details, or account for their presence in an area etc etc. For England and Wales and for Scotland, if possible.

I think i am justified in being a little confused as to what the actual law is- even the police have no idea!

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Anonymous Coward

>"Over several calls and e-mails, they will neither confirm nor deny this."

So are you gonna FoI them then?

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Anonymous Coward

Every Action Has a Reaction

The more police hassle ordinary members of the public and the more negative media reaction the lower public opinion will become. And it is pretty low now. A friend has said to me he thinks the police regard themselves nowadays as social workers rather than enforcers of the law. As long as the police are in bed with the government's social engineering agenda then public mistrust will grow and grow.

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JMB

Kent Keystone Cops

"I would have thought the police would have learnt from the first time around that it's a bit of a PR disaster to arrest someone just taking pictures."

You would think that any police officer with half a brain would realise that the continued removal of identification numbers is also a PR disaster but there have been reports that it is continuing to happen so it must be being condoned or even encouraged by senior officers and the Home Office.

I have never cease to be amazed at the efforts of the British police to completely alienate most of the British public.

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Big Brother

From Catch 22

""Help!" he shrieked shrilly in a voice strangling in its own emotion, as the policemen carried him to the open doors in the rear of the ambulance and threw him inside. "Police! Help! Police!" The doors were shut and bolted, and the ambulance raced away. There was humorless irony in the ludicrous panic of the man screaming for help to the police while policemen were all around him. Yossarian smiled wryly at the futile and ridiculous cry for aid, then saw with a start that the words were ambiguous, realized with alarm that they were not, perhaps, intended as a call for police, but as a heroic warning from the grave by a doomed friend to everyone who was not a policeman with a club and a gun and a mob of other policemen with clubs and guns to back him up. "Help! Police!" the man had cried, and he could have been shouting of danger.""

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Badgers

P.O-Lease

Whatever happened to the days when, a police officer would wear their uniform for life and take pride being part of the community to hold it together?

Now, we have a situation where one person sits in a control room acting as Arbiter and controller staring at CCTV footage with the actual aim of finding mischief, not finding it. The P.O-Lease have been staring down the same barrel for so long; they've gone cross eyed and got things the wrong way around acting more like the criminals than the criminals do.

It wouldn't be so bad if, the P.O-Lease took a step back and saw how they were treating other people; treat others how you wish to be treated, want this on your day off Mr. P.O-Lease man?...I say this because innocent citizens are in the crosshairs.

Imagine what the tourists will say parading down a high street taking pictures, (like this will happen much in the boring grey concrete age, few towns with beauty) when the CCTV guy labels them...da da daaaa, a terrorist!

Just recently, my best friend and I felt the pang of police ludicrousness. We were walking back from a night out on town (celebrating him moving to China!) and it requires walking through some woods as that is where the estate is. Being particularly drunk, the crawl stopped for a rest and reminisce effectively in the middle of nowhere.

The two P.O-Lease who came along didn't see it that way and proceeded to handcuff my friend to a fence while I was being questioned on the ground. They wanted to know what we were doing and if not told, threatened to throw us in the cell for a night. I just kept asking for their badge numbers because what happened was well out of their rights. After the fifth time saying this, one proceeded to boot me in the head; my friend still handcuffed to a fence (for no reason) tried phoning home to let them know what was going on and had his phone confiscated and smashed on the floor.

That must have pushed a button or something clicked in me but, I was instantly on my feet and demanded at the top of my voice "What the hell do you think you are doing, give me your badge numbers right now!!!!". Then they just, took off my friends cuffs and walked fast away in to the dark night, not replying to my shouts or tease at all.

I'm still left wondering, what the heck happened then? :3

P.O-Lease - Piss Off Polease

Badgers because, there is the verb to adger and sneaky but giant rodent lurking

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Unhappy

Dont Blame the ordinary Plods

Be careful of tarring all the Plods with the "Gestapo" label. They are only acting this way because they are being told to. With the lack of clear guidance, or even deliberate mis-guidance from their Bosses and at the Home Office - what would you expect?

Its just none of the gutless incompentent time servers at a senior level either in the Police, Home Office or in Westminster have the balls or inclination to issue clear guidance

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jsp

@Aleksis

I think the word you are looking for is "suspicious" (well, it is now).

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Bronze badge

Unwelcome...

I for one do NOT welcome our Stazi copying overlords.

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