back to article Romford coppers try to stopper young snapper

Despite fine words from high-ranking police officers, an unpleasant incident in Romford last week suggests that officers on the ground are no nearer understanding or respecting photographers’ rights. This comes just a day after the Met shelled out a large wad of cash to two professional photographers for almost identical …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    If they broke the law?

    Will the law win?

    Let's see a £3.5k fine per policeman at the scene.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    From THEIR OWN pockets

    Title says it all

  3. Hugh Jorgen
    Paris Hilton


    Let's see a £3.5k fine per policeman at the scene.

    Huh? Are you being serious? Here's a wake up call for you. Any time the police, fire dept, council, gov or any public body pay money out it's, get ready for this bombshell, OUR FUCKIN MONEY!

    So OK, wind up the greedy fucktards who agree, have your £3.5k per rozzer at the scene, you fuckin pay for it!!!!

    It's incidents like this and money grabbers like anon who are draining resources that could be better on fuckin tasers for your dumb ass.


    Paris, cos that's how I prefer cocksuckers to look!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down or you'll have a coronary

    Or perhaps maybe we could sack the useless police who still don't actually understand the law they are supposed to be enforcing.

    And take the fines out of their wages.

  5. Peter H. Coffin

    If you don't like the money costs..

    If you'd rather not having police departments paying out money to the citizens they harass, isn't the obvious solution for you to be instead put out with A) the police officers that are causing these problems, and B) the supervision of those officers that are allowing it to happen? THAT solution is free...

  6. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Big Brother

    Draining resources that could be better spent.

    Yeah, there called cops, and they should be out preventing real crime instead of wasting public money on these stupid exercises.

    Still, it’s a lot easier to apply the jackboot to a 16 year old kid for taking photographs instead for chasing bag snatchers & shop lifters; after all they are real criminals and might fight back. The kid wasn’t wearing a loud shirt in built up area, was he?

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    @ Hugh Jorgen

    Perhaps you might feel differently when you are doing something you KNOW is legal, world+kitten knows is legal, yet you have some tosser in a uniform harrassing you about it. I think it speaks volumes that, quote: "When asked why the police would not protect a photographer going about their lawful business, the call was terminated."

    Do you not think, dear fucktard, the POLICE should be concerned with upholding the ACTUAL laws, rather than inventing bollocks based upon a blatant (one might suggest deliberate) misreading of badly-written anti-terrorism laws. I mean, other than throwing their weight around like school bullies, what the hell do the police benefit from hassling a kid over a photo? Which was, need I have to point this out again, *not* unlawful.

  8. blackworx

    "Hugh Jorgen"

    Post-nominative determinism

  9. Michael Fremlins

    I welcome the forthcoming cuts to "frontline" policing

    If it removes morons like this.

    It is time to simply sack them. Get rid of them. No more "words of advice" or any other weasel words. Sack them. And sack the morons who keep on making excuses for them. We don't need them. They serve no purpose whatsoever.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Don't let them off lightly. PROSECUTE THEM!

    Sacking these criminals would be letting them off lightly. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Those who are employed to uphold the law but who then commit crimes themselves - especially when abusing their law enforcement positions in doing so - should never, ever get off lightly compared to other criminals.

    We need to make it explicitly clear in law (if it isn't already) that crimes committed by police will be dealt with at least as severely (preferably more severely) than the same crimes committed by others. And this law needs to be rigorously enforced.

    After the behaviour of the police in this case, is it any wonder so many people regard them as the scum of the earth?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually, they did have a purpose.

    You forget that anyone in the employ of the government does not count as unemployed, which allows the government to manipulate one of the indicators of the true state of the economy. It is classic New Labour to put this otherwise unemployable lot in a position of power to boot. If you need more examples look at how many parking wardens there now are and what defective personalities you find there.

    Another one for Cameron to turn back, and I'm betting he will be accused of "putting the public at risk" the moment he tries - as if these morons do anything but be busy elsewhere when the going gets tough..

  12. Ian Tresman

    Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill |

    A great example of legislation that needs to be repealed, so that it is completely unambiguous as to what is legal. See:

    The Freedom Bill

    The Great Repeal Bill

  13. Stu

    payouts = taxpayers money.

    Lets not forget that it is our taxpayers money that pays their wages, its the public that actually face the bills for these incompetents. So instead dock the wages of the actual officers responsible a little every month until the *whole* bill is paid off by them personally, as it does boil down to professional incompetency.

    On and on it goes, the police continually violating our rights as people. I'm an amateur photographer in self-training, and this downright worries me that its still going on.

    I get the distinct impression that these memos getting circulated are just being pinned up on noticeboards and passed by every day by officers without the slightest interest, so why do the senior officers not just sit every officer down in a seminar and shove the law down their throats?

  14. James 139

    This is where it goes wrong

    The police are trained, provided with information etc

    If a police officer fails to interpret the law correctly, or is unable to and fails to call base and find out, the police officer alone should pay the compensation, not the force in general.

    This would, at least theoretically, lead to better trained officers, since they would only carry out acts they were 100% certain they were correct in doing.

  15. King Jack Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Totally Agree

    When a member of the public is fined , the tax payer does not pay, so if a policeman is fined for misconduct, it should come directly from their wages. Only then will this nonsense stop.

  16. Tharrick

    I agree..

    ..especially given that the citizens/subjects/denizens/drones of the UK are by law expected to know every single law and every single possible application and interpretation of the law, not to mention every single legal case that has ever occurred and established a legal precedent ('ignorance of the law is no defence')

    For the police, who are supposed to enforce these laws, to have a lesser understanding than a member of the public, is completely unacceptable.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Be grateful our police aren't routinely armed.

  18. Maverick
    Thumb Up

    I am

    we just spent a week at Le Mans and the CRS are much nicer & certainly more controlled - really!

    there again they are properly trained

    yes the CRS armed and have a fearsome reputation from times past but in our experience they do focus on bad stuff (and I do mean FOCUS) and really turn a big blind eye to all sorts of silly behaviour by race fans many of whom (you may find this hard to believe) have had a few too many beers

    the petty attitude of the Met is at the other end of the scale, glad I don't live down south !

  19. James 139

    So true

    "Sir, I said put the camera down" shouts 1 of 5 officers standing around you pointing guns at you.

    You make the wrong move.


  20. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    Ignorant coppers would be hilarious if they weren't so dangerous.

  21. Hedley Lamarr

    Met Police = twats

    I hope he takes them to the fucking cleaners. This doesn't sound like one thick copper didn't know the rules, it sounds like there's a bunch of them, including an Inspector.

    The Met really are a bunch of arseholes.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Copper from the TWAT sqaud.

    Dappy has the right idea:

    Advice to that young photographer - sue the police, and ask for a personal PUBLIC apology from the police officer. He assaulted your rights in a public place, so the least he should do is return there, with a loud hailer, and make a grovelling public apology.

  23. Jacqui


    All that will happen is he will get a "telling off" and in six months a promotion to counter the verbal/written warning they were *forced* to give him. THIS is why the met continue to act like drug crazed storm troopers - the front line know they will get a verbal but will then get an early promotion

    and promotion means more money - so beat up a journo and get more pay :-)

    Using a decent DSLR in london or wales is just asking to be stopped, beaten up and have your shiny camera stolen by the plod.

  24. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Its very well worth listening to the youtube video...

    It gets ever worse the more you get into the video. The nazis moron police try to use every move they can to justify their action and fail at every step of the way, when the photographer says no to each thing they say. (a more senior police officer gets into the argument from 3:20 in the video and its pure gold. Its one jaw dropping fail after another and no matter how hard he tries, he can't justify their actions, so instead he just digs a bigger hole for himself).

    This isn't even close to a free country with this kind of police behaviour. :( … Its unbelievable the way they try to manipulate the guy. Plus you can't even tell them they are wrong, because then they say that's a breach of the peace, by arguing with them, so they have you every fucking way they want.

    A full transcript of this senior officer needs to be taken, its jaw dropping. Everyone should hear or read what he said. :(

  25. Hugh Jorgen
    Black Helicopters


    This isn't even close to a free country with this kind of police behaviour.

    We don't live in a free country. There is no right to free speach. We don't have a constitution like the Merkins stating any of our rights. We're basically a nation of cattle funding leaches with armies and guns.

    We live in a police state, that's just how it is. Try and change it and you'll be a 'terrorist' which can attract some legal bad things in your general direction.

    I can't figure out what's more upsetting, people who are deluded in thinking we're a "free society", or the fact we've not fully appreciated the beautiful seide effects of having a police state and invaded the good old days.

  26. slhilly

    The audio is fantastic

    It's really clear that what's happening is that the officers are getting more and more irritated by the photographer's refusal to just do what they want him to do. They clearly don't "get" the idea that people don't have to do what they say simply because they're police officers. They think "if I've asked nicely, and I'm a copper, he should bloody well do what I've asked". They think their authority stems from their uniform, instead of the law. It's a cultural thing that needs tackling.

  27. peter 45

    Number of reasons?

    What is funny is the number of reasons given to stop his photography. I counted:

    Health and Safety

    Photos of Armed forces is illegal

    Photos of Police officers is illegal

    Public Order (Alarm and distress)

    Photos of underage children is illegal

    Of course we all know the real reason, he was guilty of the henous crime of saying no to 'de leu'

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't coppers picking on people younger and younger these days?

    Can they sink any lower? After this you have to wonder if they aren't at least within sight of rock bottom.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    It is a question of cost

    The last government encouraged and put in place as far as possible a police state. The current government are visibly dismantling the expensive bits with great fanfare. Until fines for abuse of this law become measurable in terms of the budget deficit, nothing will change. No government in their right mind gives up control unless forced by circumstance.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Viva la revolution

    "Mark [Thomas] has encouraged members of the public to bite back, any time they feel the Police have abused their rights".

    Somewhat easier to say than do and perhaps easier for Mark who has a higher profile and more of a platform than the rest of us - I am not saying he is wrong, he is absolutely right.

    The police state preys on fear to achieve compliance and any attempt to stand up to it can bring even worse consequences. Abuse by the state therefore becomes accepted as, although wrong, that's hopefully the end of it. Push for justice and you can bring a whirlwind of worse down on your head which can potentially ruin careers and future employment possibilities as well as ongoing aggravation.

    We should stand up for our rights but it is understandable that we often do not. It is in such situations that people look to the state to protect us - Cameron and Clegg should get off their arses and actually do something to curtail police abuse and excesses. When a state agency abuses citizens it needs to be properly punished, made an example of, when the police think themselves above the law they need to be slapped back into place. The ConDems can either fix the problem or be part of the problem.

  31. Ted Treen
    Big Brother

    Bruxelles, nul points...

    They're just trying to foist a continental legal system on us.

    For centuries in Britain, everything has been permitted excepting that which is expressly forbidden.

    Au continent, everything is forbidden excepting that which is expressly permitted.

    The latter is a jobsworth/control freak's idea of heaven, and it's apparent how this appeals to some...

  32. rpjs

    [citation needed]

    Nope, sorry not accepting your kneejerk xenophobia until you show me where it is wriiten in Roman Law or any subsequent statute that "everything is forbidden excepting that which is expressly permitted"

  33. foo_bar_baz

    Oh please

    Reference please. After all, Wikipedia must be wrong when it asserts that the presumption of innocence is encoded into EU law.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Presumption of innocence

    The concept of the "presumption of innocence" does not have anything to do with what is or is not allowed under law - it merely contends that if you are accused of a crime, you are presumed to not have committed the crime until proven in a court of law (with a jury of your peers).

    Presuming innocence doesn't mean you can't be "detained" forcibly by the plod for looking odd. They are not a court of law. Perhaps that's what they fail to understand?

  35. Richard Jukes


    I do believe to photograph children under the age of 16, parental permission is required. I seem to recall that from my Uni days in Journalism. Other than that tho; snap away, the public highway is the public highway!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No permission is required to photograph any activity by anyone in a public place. Otherwise if you took a shot of a crowded beach in the summer you would have to check the age of everyone in the photograph and then seek permission before you take the picture.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As far as I am aware, in a public place you can take pictures of whomever or whatever you like, so long as you don't violate an individuals personal space (IE shooting down a woman's clevage etc). In terms of publishing pictures, I believe you need permission (either of the person or that persons guardian) for identifiable people, so again, crowd shots really are fine, individuals should be asked.

    However, IANAL.

  38. John Wilson


    Nope. Permission is never needed to take a photograph of anyone in a public space.

    *However*. If you take a picture of an identifiable person as a journalist, you may have been advised to get permission if you wish to publish the story/photograph abroad.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Re: permission of identifiable persons

    As the photographer, you are the rights holder. You don't think the Sun or Mail have to pay individuals (celebrities or not) who happen to be the focus of a photograph taken in public areas, do you? Its the photographer who gets paid, not the subject.

    However as a journalist, you may be under contract that any photos you take are the property of your employer, but hopefully you would know best the details of any contract you signed concerning that.

    Icon? Its all about the (copyright licensing) cash, baby.

  40. Dan P

    Simply Unbelievable...

    Having watch the YouTube clip from start to end, this is utterly dispicable. The officers obviously don't have a clue about the law, and keep changing the reason they're stopping and eventually arresting him, ranging from taking photographs of children with their parents present, the military, frontline police officers, and finally citing the terrorism act and arresting him for disturbing the peace. With the exception of the last one, all are legal. What's worse is that they manhandle the kid, take his camera (that's called stealing, isn't it?), and apparently push him down some stairs along the way, as well as obviously intimidating him and asking him to stop recording audio (dodgy much?!).

    I hope he gets one hell of a payout and the police give up trying to enforce non-existant laws and concentrate on the real ones.

    Meglomaniacal idiots.

  41. LuMan

    Give 'em their do...

    ..after all they have got targets to meet. And let's face it; it's easier to harrass some youngster with a camera than it is to square up to a group of hoodies who are chucking bricks at a retirement home.

    More seriously, though, I had a mountain bike nicked and despite furnishing the local plod with video footage of the event, the number plate of the getaway vehicle and the frigging ADDRESS of the owner of said vehicle, the police still can't advise me on their progress. However, they DID come round to see me and then spend 20 minutes telling how much trouble I'd be in if I 'took matters into my own hands.'

    Thanks, Local Constabulary. Glad to see my council tax is being well spent </sarc>

  42. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    "spend 20 minutes telling how much trouble I'd be in if I 'took matters into my own hands.'"

    that's because they are not afraid of criminals, they are afraid of the public..thin blue line and all that.

    They seem to have forgotten, however, that they can only perform their duties with the *permission* of the public.

  43. DaveyDaveDave
    Thumb Down

    Similar experience...

    Any guesses about what happened when I phoned Cardiff police from my car to say that I was following the guy who I'd just seen smashing my neighbour's window?

    Of course - they couldn't possibly speak to me while I was driving.

    Result: criminal walks free; helpful member of the public decides not to bother next time.

  44. Lamont Cranston

    But, but, but,

    what if, as a consquence of using the phone whilst driving, you'd run over the poor smasher of windows?

    What then, eh? You make me sick.

  45. Alex Deane (Big Brother Watch)

    Let's support this photographer against this overbearing nonsense

    Some officers think that anti-terror legislation gives them blanket powers to hassle people whenever they want. This case is a very bad example of that.

    Confronted by bullying and hectoring policemen, acting entirely outside their powers, this young man admirably stood up for himself and rightly maintained that he was entitled to take pictures in a public place.

    The police should apologise immediately and admit that they were in the wrong. If they don’t, he should commence legal action and Big Brother Watch will help him all we can.

    In the meantime: complain to the force here:

    19 Main Road



    RM1 3BJ


  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suspended without pay

    Each and EVERY one of those "officers" should be suspended immediately without pay. They should then be prosecuted for both illegally detaining someone and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    That won't happen so sue the force and take out private prosecutions against them.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Private prosecution

    for assault etc is easy, you go to Magistrates Court and swear an information, they get summons and you stand up in court and present the evidence.

    I was told by barrister who suggested I should do one that the max costs they can award against you is £50 if you lose. You can emply solicitor to represent you if you want but you must lay the information yourself. Much cheaper and safer than going for civil court damages.

    If convicted they get criminal record and in event of Police would then probably lose their jobs. Not many police officers with criminal record!

  48. Ted Treen

    "..Not many police officers with criminal record!.."

    but evidently several who should have one.

  49. El Richard Thomas
    Thumb Down

    Slight problem...

    You then end up with a convicted thug who knows who you are and where you live, has lots of friends in the police and whose behaviour is no longer constrained by the fact he might lose his job as a police officer.

    The words "frying pan" and "fire" spring to mind...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The company I work for issues update to guidelines, mission statement and briefings daily, often fairly long and detailed documents. These are by and large ignored by the workforce, because we have better things to do. It used to be that we had monthly staff meetings that brought us up to date with all of these things, but now in this age of self service and collaborative technologies, most of us don't bother, after all do you really want to listen to an all staff briefing by the CEO telling us about the latest management sales initiative, especially when he won't know if you are there or not.

    Do you think the Met or any Police Force is better, I seriously doubt this, and it's a management thing, issue an update on the portal, or an all staff eMail, and everybody knows.

    The only way the average Plod is going to notice is if something very public and very expensive happens to the next policeman who misuses his powers.

    BTW: could we have a new offence of misrepresentation of the law, punishable by a minimum term of 5 years. ( Now what would be the unforseen effect of that one?).


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