As yet another senior copper reads the riot act to his fellow officers over the policing of photographers, concerns are growing amongst senior ranks that this is all too little too late – and that serious damage has now been done to relations with the public over this issue. John Yates, Assistant Commissioner Specialist …
Hold the front page!
Daily Mail concerned that foreigners in our country had their rights violated!! Is this some sort of parallel universe I've woken up in??
Though, right enough, they were Austrian tourists, not suspiciously skinned scroungers. So that's all right then.
Still, Daily Mail in genuine story that isn't just scare and outrage mongering!!!
Is it just me that is concerned that the ACPO is effectively setting policy? That should be the Home Secretary's job. The ACPO is just talk shop for the chief officers and should have absolutely no authority what-so-ever.
"serious damage has now been done to relations with the public over this issue."
And what will the effects of this serious damage be? A stiff letter to their respective MPs? An article in Reg?
I agree that they are totally out of line, but I can't believe that there are going to actually be any repercussions about the break down in relations. Come the new year a police officer will be stabbed, and the media will be full of news about the heroes in blue, then they will foil a terrorism plot. Then someone will die in a stoeln car while being chased by police and the whole process will start all over again.
what will the effects be?
Don't trivialise it, please try and consider the issues like a grown-up for a minute. Police acting in an ultra vires manner has a chilling effect upon the good order of a free and democratic society, and erodes trust and the very fabric of society itself. The effects will be systemic and initially subtle, by the time people like you even notice, it will likely be too late.
It's not exactly rocket surgery, unless Clarkson is about the loftiest intellectual level that you can handle.
Which is bad for the police how?
As the OP says, it's not actually going to cause any problems for the police -- society as a whole has already been damaged by this but I don't hear of the police suffering.
"Don't trivialise it, please try and consider the issues like a grown-up for a minute. Police acting in an ultra vires manner has a chilling effect upon the good order of a free and democratic society, and erodes trust and the very fabric of society itself. The effects will be systemic and initially subtle, by the time people like you even notice, it will likely be too late.
It's not exactly rocket surgery, unless Clarkson is about the loftiest intellectual level that you can handle."
I'm sorry you've lost me.
1) "Don't trivialise it, please try and consider the issues like a grown-up for a minute." What did I trivialise.
2) " The effects will be systemic and initially subtle, by the time people like you even notice, it will likely be too late." I asked what the effects of the general public losing faith in the police were likely to be, and you responded with this. Not only are you did you misunderstand my question, you didn't even answer the question you thought I asked, you instead gave a vague line about it being subtle. What will be subtle?. And what exactly are "People like you?" I take it you are against mixed-race photographers in the UK?
3) "It's not exactly rocket surgery" I am unfamiliar with rocket surgery. Is some amalgamation of brain surgery and rocket science? Are there many practitioners of both?
4) "unless Clarkson is about the loftiest intellectual level that you can handle." Clarkson who? You'll have to give me his/her full name if you expect people to understand your references.
As you decided to misunderstand what I asked, I'll ask it again in terms even you should be able to understand:
The article mentioned that the general public has already lost faith (quite rightly) in the police for their photographer-arresting antics and their interpretation of the law (and for arresting people for being too tall). Now, what exactly are the effects of this public dissatisfaction? The article was titled Too little Too late. If it is too late, what are the repercussions? Where are the protests and calls for resignation from the public?
the loftiest of intellects
"It's not exactly rocket surgery, unless Clarkson is about the loftiest intellectual level that you can handle."
He is quite tall.
Oh, there will be repercussions alright. They won't be apparent for a while, at least not in a widespread way. But they will come if police forces continue doing what they've been doing.
They will come when enough of the general public become aware of repeated situations in which police far overstepped their bounds. The repercussions will be measured in loss of trust and respect, without which the police will have a hell of a time actually policing.
When the Daily Fail is picking up on this ongoing storyline and deciding it needs to give its readers a handy cut-out-and-carry guide to their rights, every police force in the country should be taking a step back and thinking "oh crap, we need to really fix this right now or we're stuffed".
Maybe, for a change, the Fail might just have done some good. We'll see.
Their readers - and the rest of the 'law abiding', 'right thinking' 'upright citizens' want to BELIEVE in the Govt., the Police, the Armed Forces, Britannia. They want to be comforted, to know they can carry on living without having to think about anything more serious than what to have for dinner, where to go on holiday, etc. Life being hard brings interruptions they'd rather have done without, but at base they want FAITH in the authorities. So yet more of the same hollow promises of reform and style over substance policy making and middle England will jump at the chance to believe it was all a big misunderstanding and all is right again.
And next time they'll put their hands over their ears and go 'la la la la la!' and leave it for their children to stand up and be counted.
That is why they voted for Thatcher. Over and over. That is why they voted Blair in again.
Anyone who doubts this should immerse themselves in Psychology. Read about the experiments in, notably, Obedience, and Conformity. Read them over and over and eventually you'll get it.
Can everyone stop using Clarkson and the word intellectual in the same sentence they just don't go together.
If that was genuine, I find it hard to believe that the stopee (?) was allowed to carry on filming the PCSO and police.
On a general note, their attitude to photographers isn't the only reason they aren't trusted nowadays.
Met Anti-Photography Propaganda
""People have complained that they are being stopped when taking photographs in public places," said Yates. "These stops are being recorded under Stop and Account and under Section 44 of TACT. The complaints have included allegations that people have been told that they cannot photograph certain public buildings, that they cannot photograph police officers or PCSOs and that taking photographs is, in itself, suspicious.""
Hardly surprising, given the Met's own propaganda: http://www.met.police.uk/campaigns/campaign_ct_2008.htm
Also, I noticed that the officer in the excellent, linked YouTube video was a PCSO, not a constable, but a "Community Support Officer" - excellent zoom-in there! Was he exceeding whatever limited powers he has?
Anyway, I'm absolutely outraged! But also delighted that she got enough on video to expose the blatant harassment that even plastic plods are dishing out.
Thank you for this article (and link).
I never thought I'd live to see the day when I would be printing out a Daily Mail article. (I've cut out the 'Know Your Rights' section and put it in my wallet).
Being somewhat 'swarthy' in appearance, I don't even need to be in possession of a camera to get stopped by the police, so having these rights to hand is very useful.
If you'd like an even more detailed cut out and keep guide
http://photographernotaterrorist.org/bust-card/ might be helpful- good plain list of the dos and don'ts. Hope it helps.
their attitude to photographers isn't the only reason they aren't trusted nowadays.
Can anyone site an occasion when the police pro-actively investigated a case of 'Crime against a person?'
When I had my laptop stolen I was told that 'This happens so often now we don't even bother to investigate it'
But when it comes to posting out fixed penalty notices or cracking hippy skulls. The 999 is the only number you need.
Funny when their bill comes along with my council tax they have a nice glossly leaflet telling me about all the local crime they solve, and then another story about them cooking the figures.... go figure!
More like, 'This happens so often now, it really interferes with our core work - waiting by the roadside for people creeping over the speed limit!'
When my boyfriend reported a street robbery (for Crime Reference Number purposes) but declined to revisit the particular Brixton side street at 3AM, they fined him for wasting police time.
Police by consent?
I think "police by consent" ended when they started criminalizing the simple act of possessing recreational drugs (other than alcohol and nicotine). A huge proportion of the population hates the police as a result.
Oh, but now it's your middle-class journalist friends being stopped, so it's important all of a sudden.
But you'll never really understand until the govt actually *criminalizes* taking photos, and starts locking people up for it. Otherwise, all the middle classes are getting here is a bit of light hassle. Oh, boo hoo.
Go back to complaining about the iPhone Music Store's rules. El Reg's middle-class worldview won't sustain the idea that policing is breaking down for very long. It couldn't cope with global warming, after all.
Saying "middle class" every paragraph as if it were an insult of some kind marks you out as a bit of a dick. So, which end of the class war are you coming at this from, Che?
Isn't it obvious?
Looks down on the middle classes, past history of recreational drug use, contempt for the free press...
It's David Cameron, isn't it?
If you think everyone hates the police
then you are with the wrong people. Reminds me of someone I once knew who was complaining that the police arrested him for possetion of a class A controled substence because of how he looked. It took him a good ten minets to get round to the fact that he was with a know drug dealer at the time, and he was given a caution (I was carrying a small about of coke that he had just got from said dealer).
Not everyone hates them
"If you think everyone hates the police then you are with the wrong people."
I don't think it's hatred of the police, that is too strong of a term certainly.
But at the same time, I don't know anyone who really thinks they are doing a good job either at the day to day community policing side of things. Where are the patrols around my community? the only place I even see a PCSO is walking to and from the station (within about 500 meters), I've never seen a real copper once - presumably the PCSOs are walking around town but I never ever see them - hardly high profile policing.
While at the same time, they seem to have an endless budget for targetting speeding (which sometimes I agree with but sometimes it just feels like an easy target), kettling of legitimate lawful protests (which I've always felt the goal of which is to deter future protest) and running DNA databases which it seems like they are just itching to get your details onto.
I know that some of that is a little unfair, the community policing doesn't run the traffic cameras or do the kettling or the DNA database, but the service as a whole, at a national level seems to have it's budgets the wrong way round.
It's at the point where unless it's a serious crime (actual threat of harm to someone) then I wouldn't bother reporting anything to the police because I know from past experience that it's a waste of my time.
Ironically, the sort of support that gets withdrawn by the public is exactly the support needed to help improve the service (if the police were interested in providing that service).
It's self-harming cycle - the police get less support so don't do the sort of things the community really care about less because of a lack of information from the community. Who see the police aren't doing the things they care about so stop talking to the police.
As mentioned further up in the comments, by the time this cycle really gets noticed, it's too late, you already have a generation who think at best the police are ineffective and at worse out to get you (See Traffic Speeds and DNA DB)
That'll do much good.
The simple, easy, non-mealy-mouthed solution is to say ``ignore the sodding law plz kthxbai''. But the poor chap can't do that, or he'll get fired for not toeing the party line. So much for justice being independent of lawmaking.
Love the google ads at the bottom of the Daily Mail piece. You may have to refresh a few times but I saw "Firearm Replicas" and "Best 9mm For Self-Defence"!
Watch the video -
she wasn't able to film the bit where they "tuned her up" (as they say on NYPD blue ) for not doing as she was told by her masters and for being "cocky".
@Anonymous john - she didn't film any actual police, only some pretend ones who aren't allowed to get physical. When the real scum turned up, she was prevented from filming and then assaulted. Words like "If" don't come into it .
Re: Police by consent?
Er, say what? I think your ire may be misplaced. I hope you're not suggesting we're Mail readers.
It's worse than that.
I think he's implying that you're middle class.
Woman: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
Dennis: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
Woman: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
Bless this, oh Lord, Thy Holy Hand Grenade....
is more Mail-like on a daily basis...
The police and PCSO's
"The message has been circulated to all Borough Commanders and published on the MPS intranet"
Ok where do we get a hold of this message, I think it needs to be bill posted in as many public places as possible.
What's wrong with photographing the filth
They do it to us. What's good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The Plastic Police are a total waste of space and have no real powers at all, all they are people in a uniform and mobile communication device. They have no powers of arrest, apart from those that apply to general public as a whole and I'm awaiting the first case of them being privately prosecuted for wrongful imprisonment and actual boldily harm.
I don't see that much has changed - the average copper had room temperature IQ when I was in college in the 70's - given their tendency to cross-breed with each other I'm surprised that you'd expect any improvement.
Ah College... slipping a tab of sunshine into the undercover cops beer in the pub ... oh, how we laughed...
a (better) video of me...
i actually thought the person in that youtube video was being somewhat deliberately provocative. Which may be their right, but the whole process could have been dealt with quickly and easily without any fuss if they'd been a little more co-operative and and a bit less dogged.
in essence i felt that they were deliberately trying to trap the PCSO into exceeding there powers by being a jerk. Which to be is no better than police entrapment.
this on the other hand is a video of me, as you can see i was completely compliant, i offered to stop filming, and he still threatened to take my phone.
Which is why the Police are trained with how to deal with the public?? Whereas their current policy seems to be escalating minor pointless issues into full blown fiascos. If the plod hadnt started provoking her with talk of terrorism and had just walked off then nothing would have happened and it wouldnt have made such a youtube "hit"......
Re a (better) video of me...
I'm sorry sir, but your post quite comprehensively explain why it's indeed *not* a better video. You did just what the police wants you to believe they have can make you do, thus reinforcing their impression that they can get away with it. And still they threatened to take your phone? Well, you had it coming. I'm afraid that sheepish behaviours such as yours in front of abuse of power is part of the problem, not the solution.
I fear that the rules of the game have already changed.
I'm a white, middle class Londoner, offspring of a policeman. I'm also a photographer.
I have to say that I no longer trust or respect the police at all, any more. I'm with Ice Cube on this one.
(For the record, my ex-copper father also regards the current mess as <unprintable> stupid, too.)
Is it me or is the PCSO just trying to wind up the photographer so he actually has a valid reason to detain or arrest her?
It's the 21st century of the police stopping you in your car because they don't like the look of you or your vehicle, then put their foot through your back light and do you for having defective lights.
"The message has been circulated to all Borough Commanders and published on the MPS intranet"
Oh so that's all right then. Now all they need to do, is communicate this to each and every force, right down to LPT level.
I think the relationship between the public and the police is almost as bad as it was during the miners' strikes.
"I think the relationship between the public and the police is almost as bad as it was during the miners' strikes."
I assume you're from up north?
A lot of people on here won't realise that the relationship between the public and the police was strained during the strikes.
The Brave police were just doing their best to stop the Militant Miners and that communist Arthur Scargill from bringing the country to it's knees after all. </sarcasm>
Besides, most of the southern coppers were up here cracking skulls.
Never believe all you saw back then!
At the time of the miner's strikes I used to know a copper, he used to attend my archery club of places. He would often have to be sent "oop north" for a spell of playing with the miners. He said most of the time he would spend standing around chatting to the miners and just letting them get on with it. When the cameras turned up, the miners and coppers would have a quick 5 mins chat about they were going to do when the cameras came on. Cue cameras and ranks of coppers, linked arms appearing to hold back brawling miners! Mostly faked and staged to allow the miners to get their point across in front of the cameras.
"concerns are growing amongst senior ranks that this is all too little too late – and that serious damage has now been done to relations with the public over this issue." - any dimwit could have told them that two years ago.
In most of the cases I've read about the offending uniform has been a PCSO, not a genuine police orifice but some pretend copper with ideas above their station.
Serves those austrians right.
If members of the public can beat up a pediatrician, why wouldn't the police be out there roughing up tourists instead of terrorists?
I blame all that diversity crap - there's bound to be a quota for dyslexics in the uk police force.
So they think it's not too late?
"British police risk losing the battle for the public’s consent if they win public order through tactics that appear to be unfair, aggressive or inconsistent."
Time to wake up and smell the Linda McCartney sausages, sunshine. To switch metaphors, that ship sailed some time ago.
When you only take people who want the job
I personally think that this is what you get when you systematically hire only the people who actually want this sort of job -- and the accompanying (low) pay.
While I'm sure there are plenty of good cops; I'm less and less optimistic about the ratio of good to bad.
I think the cure would be to require something like a "National Service" where everyone (and by everyone, I mean _everyone_, no exceptions) spends a year after they graduate from high school doing some sort of community service. Being a teacher's aid, rebuilding trails in parks, doing community policing, etc. Or enlist in the military, if that's your thing; even though it's more than a year. Even better would be to do your year when you turn 40.
I always had a favorable impression of English police. Sorry to hear that this sort of nonsense has spread to your side of the pond.
In countries like Finland, not sure but I believe you have a choice for national service. 9 months in the army or 18 months in the civil service, most people want to get it over with, so they simply take the army post!
Q. How many PCSOs does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None, they'd have to call for a PC to provide back up.
Cut and Paste Journalism?
Has anyone else noticed the similarity between the "bust Card" here
And the Mail's very "own" one?
They do mention the "'I'm a photographer not a terrorist" group but they don't credit the information.
I like the part where it says that a constable in uniform is entitled to remove her outer clothing...
You can see a nice, graphical representation of someone doing just that in the accompanying icon...
Bit ironic that the acronym for the legislation is "TACT"...
1. a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.
2. a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful, or aesthetically pleasing; taste; discrimination.
3. touch or the sense of touch.