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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ha ha paranoia

Police bullying photographers

Posted Sunday 26th July 2009 14:50 GMT

Ha ha, I find it absoulutely astounding that you really think the police like to bully photographers! Where is the logic in that? This article seems to be written by someone very paranoid. 90% of the time when the police attend if someone is photographing buildings, it is in response to a call from a member of the public, who has seen that activity and finds it suspicious. All that needs to be done is to provide ID and then you can photograph what the hell you like (within reason). Generally only people who have something to hide would refuse to do this, thus generating a suspicion that either a. the person has committed an offence or b. is using the information he/she has obtained for the purpose of an act of terorism or some other offence.

Most law abiding citizens understand, in this day and age, why a police officer needs to be satisfied there is a legitimate purpose behind the activity. The country has been under a high terrorism alert for some time, and most members of the public, who the police are accountable to, would expect an officer to question why the activity was taking place.

Once the ID is established the person would be allowed to continue. Under the freedom of information Act, if you want to find out what the police have done with any information obtained about you, you are free to do this.

It is a fact that in the past terrorists have taken photos of intended targets. So would you rather the police let you and them continue unchecked?

What is your problem? If a person asks for ID for you to get in a pub, or draw money or get a credit card do you go through this palava? Hey! lets demonstrate outside the bank! I'm up for that one whoopee!

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Ha ha, I find it absoulutely astounding that you really think the police like to bully photographers! Where is the logic in that? This article seems to be written by someone very paranoid. 90% of the time when the police attend if someone is photographing buildings, it is in response to a call from a member of the public, who has seen that activity and finds it suspicious. All that needs to be done is to provide ID and then you can photograph what the hell you like (within reason). Generally only people who have something to hide would refuse to do this, thus generating a suspicion that either a. the person has committed an offence or b. is using the information he/she has obtained for the purpose of an act of terorism or some other offence.

Most law abiding citizens understand, in this day and age, why a police officer needs to be satisfied there is a legitimate purpose behind the activity. The country has been under a high terrorism alert for some time, and most members of the public, who the police are accountable to, would expect an officer to question why the activity was taking place.

Once the ID is established the person would be allowed to continue. Under the freedom of information Act, if you want to find out what the police have done with any information obtained about you, you are free to do this.

It is a fact that in the past terrorists have taken photos of intended targets. So would you rather the police let you and them continue unchecked?

What is your problem? If a person asks for ID for you to get in a pub, or draw money or get a credit card do you go through this palava? Hey! lets demonstrate outside the bank! I'm up for that one whoopee!

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ha ha paranoia

Police bullying photographers

Posted Sunday 26th July 2009 14:50 GMT

Ha ha, I find it absoulutely astounding that you really think the police like to bully photographers! Where is the logic in that? This article seems to be written by someone very paranoid. 90% of the time when the police attend if someone is photographing buildings, it is in response to a call from a member of the public, who has seen that activity and finds it suspicious. All that needs to be done is to provide ID and then you can photograph what the hell you like (within reason). Generally only people who have something to hide would refuse to do this, thus generating a suspicion that either a. the person has committed an offence or b. is using the information he/she has obtained for the purpose of an act of terorism or some other offence.

Most law abiding citizens understand, in this day and age, why a police officer needs to be satisfied there is a legitimate purpose behind the activity. The country has been under a high terrorism alert for some time, and most members of the public, who the police are accountable to, would expect an officer to question why the activity was taking place.

Once the ID is established the person would be allowed to continue. Under the freedom of information Act, if you want to find out what the police have done with any information obtained about you, you are free to do this.

It is a fact that in the past terrorists have taken photos of intended targets. So would you rather the police let you and them continue unchecked?

What is your problem? If a person asks for ID for you to get in a pub, or draw money or get a credit card do you go through this palava? Hey! lets demonstrate outside the bank! I'm up for that one whoopee!

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@chloe44

Looks like someone just walked over your bridge.

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@Chloe44

Hi Chloe,

A couple of things in response to your post. Yes, I'm afraid that sometimes the police do have nothing better to do than to bully photographers! It's unfortunate that a certain percentage of the population are bullying little jobsworths, and some of those will end up in the police - with a wide range of powers to make people's lives a misery.

If you have an interest in photography you will have noticed that there has been a huge increase in police harasssment of photographers. Specialist magazines aimed at amateur photographers now regularly carry legal advice for dealing with the police (they never used to) and professional bodies such as the BJP and NUJ have been making their concerns known for ages. Even MPs have expressed concern that everyone from press photographers to hapless tourists have been illeaglly targetted by the boys and girls in blue. You may be unaware of this.

With regard to your comment "all that needs to be done is to provide ID and then you can photograph what the hell you like" - I think this cuts to the heart of the problem. Simply, identity does not prove intent. The guy was either acting illegally or he wasn't - knowing that he was called Alex is totally irrelevant. This is recognised by law. The Terrorism Act specifically states that random checks can be done under Section 44, but that the person searched has no legal obligation to provide ID. He was specifically arrested to ascertain ID - he was arrested for something which was not an offence.

If a terrorist was interested in sneakily photographing a target they wouldn't stand in the middle of the high street in broad daylight taking snaps with a big semi-professional rig. Of a chip shop.

If I want to draw money from my bank account, I accept a check on my identity in that circumstance is both necessary and proportinate. It's not the same as being asked to account for myself by anonymous council security men, PCSOs and police officers for perfectly legal public behaviour And no, I wouldn't use a pub that asks for my ID!

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