Re: About time the photographers struck back
I've never been bounced by the police while engaging in photography or filming, even as part of a news crew (though they have on occasion politely pointed out that my vantage point was perhaps more exposed than they considered safe from known-to-be-armed suspects).
I have however been bounced - quite properly, though for laughable reasons - by security guards. Most recently, from a large outdoor shopping area of some architectural interest, in which I was using a 4x5 camera on top of a seven foot tripod. Taking images with that equipment takes several minutes just to set up, and I had made half a dozen images from various locations within the site when the security chap came up, identified himself, and politely told me that the area was private property. As such, the owners had the right to forbid photography within it - so I moved. No issue - though he did not have an answer to the question of mobile phones and the cameras therein. Also no issue taking a very similar image from outside the boundary - unmarked, but only a couple of feet from where I was,
Nice to meet a fellow in a sometimes tricky job doing it well and also properly briefed on the rules. As the article states: 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'.
As others have pointed out - in this case, the police employee was strictly in the wrong. If she had concerns about the photographer's actions, she should have asked one of her police colleagues to deal; as it was she was throwing her weight about, and that's not acceptable.
He was certainly in the right and in spite of the senior officer's later comment there was neither need nor requirement for him either to explain his actions, give his name, or accompany the employee anywhere. He might be considered a bit of a dick for standing on his rights but I don't blame him - I would have done the same and for a simple reason: if you don't stand on your rights, somehow they mysteriously disappear.
I wonder how long the lady in question was bollocked for behind closed doors?