back to article Charges against London tube tourist snapper thrown out

Westminster Magistrates have dismissed charges of breaching the Public Order Act brought against a Greek tourist for taking photographs on the London Underground. Had the case gone differently, we would have been forced to revisit our long-cherished assumption that the law does not restrict the right to photograph in the UK. On …

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Silver badge

I always learned...

...(from 'Junior Photography' type books - ie, photography books for kids learning to take photographs, not books about taking photos of juniors) that you should always ask permission from anyone who will be in your photo (excepting crowds or people too far away to be identifiable).

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Alien

No evidence?

Why was the CCTV not offered to the defendant in advance of the case? Or was it? And was it rather too lewd following too many well endowed nymphettes or something, for the police to want it shown in public?

"One should also understand that the Greek authorities are very sensitive on matters of security for a variety of reasons."

One of them being the use of Greek airports for renditions by CIA subcontractors/torturers.

Add you twohaporth here:

https://custserv.tfl.gov.uk/icss_csip/CreateRequestDisplayServiceForm.do;jsessionid=(J2EE709050600)ID1613586950DB10502131083101960529End;saplb_*=(J2EE709050600)709050650?nav=A1%23Z0000002%23Z020

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Boffin

Flashy flashy

Most credible excuse I've heard for no photography on the LU is because the flash can be mistaken for a high voltage spark that apparently gets noted and investigated as possible damage to track or train. Sounds plausible

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Anonymous Coward

@not really

@LaeMi Qian & @Calm Down - absolutely, ask permission, but only if relevant, but that doesn't excuse the paranoia of parents nowadays, and a lack of common sense on the part of the establishment that means that people are sent to court for things like this. And no, we have no idea what was on the photo, but if the tourist was willing to show the photos to the parents they couldn't have been that bad, surely?

Drip, drip, drip

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Anonymous Coward

"Rocks are about all you have left"?

@Don Casey

Be careful taking pictures of rocks on land owned by the National Trust. According to the National Trust, landscapes and even photographs of plants and animals on open land, are criminal offences. They have started forcing websites, including amateurs, to remove such photographs.

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Stop

Don't Laugh

Once a paedo has photographed your child they're in posession of photons that have ACTUALLY TOUCHED your child and can do what they want with them.

Something should be done.

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Stop

This bloke was lucky

Jean Charles de Menezes had his head blown off by the police on the Tube and he didn't even do anything.

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Unhappy

@Nanki Poo

"But I do agree with photographing children being a bit daft, as I am thoroughly paranoid in all situations about a child even being in view when taking photos. Oh, holidays at the beach can be SO much fun with me... "

And there, in a nutshell, is the huge problem that has evolved over the past 10-15 years. There was never a problem in that respect back in the 70s-80s when I used to do a lot of street photography (don't seem to have the time now). Kids would be falling over themselves to 'get into the picture' with their parents indulging their excitement. Now, however, we are in an age where the image is evil - won't be long before kids aren't allowed on the streets any more 'just in case'.

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Anonymous Coward

Wasting police time?

Shouldn't the 'concerned' parent/MotP/self-righteous wanker now be dragged in front of the beak for wasting Police time? Or the police dragged in front of the beak for wasting their own time (and taxpayers money)? Or the Dread Twins, Wacky and McNumpty for doing the same, but on a far larger and more insidious scale?

Oh fuck it, have the whole fucking government up before the ICJ for wasting absolutely everyones time.

@ Alan Newbury, I really couldn't agree more. We are, to steal from an unsavoury copper of an earlier age, "Drowning in a cesspool of our own devising".

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Erm?

"the police held him overnight and refused to allow him access to legal advice"

Is that now legal in the UK?

Did I miss something?

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Tourist = criminal?

A few months ago, I was visiting the UK (from Ireland) as a tourist. I was outside the British Museum, taking snaps of its impressive facade, when I was approached by two plods who politely but firmly insisted that they see what I'd been snapping - AND that I show ID, give my address, and let them search through my bag.

If the UK isn't a police state yet, it seems to be getting there pretty damn fast.

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Paris Hilton

@ Chris Young

I'm not sure naivety comes into it, just a difference in cultures and what is considered aceptable. In the UK, parents (and I am one) have become completely paranoid about the photographing of their children whether it is innocent or ill-intentioned. I can't speak with any authority on this, but I imagine that such hysteria doesn't exist in Greece. I think that if we continue to judge everyone by our own standards and not make allowances for different cultures, this country, which is already in the toilet, risks becoming as bad as the US.

One thing for all hysterical, paranoid parents everywhere (and the @rse that went running the the BTP in this case), how do you protect you precious children from being photographed by some perv using a zoom lens from half a mile away?

Paris, because she knows about zoom lenses.

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Linux

@ Whitefort

Unless you are being arrested or reported for a recordable offence, you are not obliged to give the police your name and address. However, you're now on the police database for at least the next seven years. There was a letter from a distinguished professor in the FT recently who'd been forced to give his details to a Plastic Plod at the British Museum, and he wasn't even taking photos.

Even worse the plod stationed themselves at the civil liberties exhibtion up the road at the British Library and detained attendees under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act in order to get their details.

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Syd

The Real Crime

A friend of mine took (literally) hundreds of photos on the underground last year, over a number of weeks, and had no bother at all from anyone.

But then, she is a very pretty, blond 21-year-old!

I venture to suggest that the guy's real crime was not being 21... or blond... or pretty.

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Additional Info

Looks like the guy is a reasonably serious photographer...as this appears to be his site (with thanks to a Reg reader who mailed me the link):

http://photocircle.gr/component/option,com_uhp2/task,viewpage/Itemid,68/user_id,65/lang,el/

Wonder if the problem was that the pics are self-evidently "arty"...causing a "normal" parent to decide the guy didn't know how to take photos...

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Silver badge

The sensible thing...

By the sound of it the guy was reasonable, he apologised and deleted the picture.

The transport police should have used some common... Told the father that they would detain the photographer, taken the photographer to their detention room, apologised to him, but asked him to remain there for a few minutes until the knuckle draggers had got on a train. Then they could have just let him go again! Everyone happy!

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Linux

Sweet seventeen

And the age of the 'child' in question? 17!

Not singled out but captured as part of a general shot of a tube carriage.

Oh and when the snapper went to court he was informed - by the prosecution no less - that the father was so incensed by him having the temerity to plead not guilty, he was on the court premises waiting for a "confrontation".

Any chance of the police stepping in to protect his rights? Oh, no, he had to hide in the lobby until chav daddy wandered off.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Freed_tourist_photographer_speaks_of_safety_fears_news_282996.html

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Go

as a father...

I have to say I wouldn't have a problem with a tourist taking pictures of my little girl on the tube. Even if he was a peadophile. How is havig a picture of my daughter on the train going to affect her in anyway? If he can get hs rocks off to it then thats creepy, but he hasn't hurt her in anyway. 99.9% of people who take pictures are not peadophiles. It's about time people in this country realised that.

I was at a wedding just the other week and took photos of my girl playing with other kids, I didn't know them but it made a nice picture.

People are far to sensitive these days!

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Alert

There were children in the photo?!?

Send for the child catcher...

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Joke

Send for...

...The Paedo Finder General! "By the powers vested in me by the hysterical uneducated masses I declare you a Paedophile!"

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Paris Hilton

Bloody kids!

It's simple, really. If morons don't want their kids in pictures, keep them indoors. A few years glued to GTA, WoW, etc and they'll be too fat to leave the house - problem solved.

Paris, because image is everything.

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Alert

The tube is private property, it's their rules!!!

FACT: YOU HAVE ALWAYS NEEDED A PERMIT TO TAKE PHOTOS ON THE TUBE!!!

Sad I know but I used to snap tube architecture and trains for a hobby, I stopped about 8 years ago, it was just too much trouble!

At that time you simply had to apply for a permit to take photos on the system, I believe that has always been the case, you never had to pay for it but the tube is private property and lots of people don't know that. So you write for a permit letter, free of charge, then present it to the Station Supervisor at each station you wish to photograph at. You collect a visitors pass and you get on with it. At the time I was doing it, it was mainly for fire regs, so if they had to evacuate, they knew you were on the premises for business other than travel.

I was always careful to never catch kids in my pictures, even 10 years ago, and where possible I would always avoid adults as well, mainly for clear shots but also to avoid and trouble with official jobsworths and nutters. And I can tell you there are lots of jobsworths working down the tube, and plenty of little Hitlers who have worked their way up to station super, just want to be difficult, most were really good and genuinely interested, but some were utter twats.

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