Re: About time the photographers struck back
it is permissible to photograph anyone or anything visible from public land, with very few exceptions - in particular, if a building or area is covered by the official secrets act it is clearly marked 'thou shalt not photograph'.
Well, there's also this mysterious "Section 44 designated area" which refers to an area that has been designated so special that police have stop & search powers without having to give a reason, and those areas are not actually indicated because not all of them are static. I think some railway stations are under it. However, the people who police those are generally a bit more experienced and less prone to the Hitler complex so you usually get a warning.
With respect to deleting pictures, I had one idiot try that once.
I told him that was not going to happen because:
1 - he did not identify himself correctly as a policeman
2 - he did not cite correct cause and legislation under which he would have those powers
3 - if I was not being arrested, he had no business telling me what I could or could not make pictures of
4 - if I was being arrested, he should not touch my camera either until forensics got here as it would be interfering with evidence and the chain of evidence, which would look rather bad on the arrest record.
5 - in the case of an arrest, I would already like to thank him for the extra money as it would clearly be wrongful and would definitely be followed up.
It is worth noting I had made sure I had witnesses, though.
I have no problem with even just security guards who are just trying to do a job and politely ask me not to take pictures. I tend to even beat them to it by asking upfront if I feel there may be an issue as it's not my intention to make their live miserable and I like my privacy just like anyone else.
However, anyone who storms at me like some wannabe Reichsführer will discover that I am not easily intimidated and that I have a spectacularly malevolent sense of humour that then comes out to play. Because they're worth it :)...