Less than a year after the United Kingdom enacted a new law that turned all photographers into terrorist suspects, officials are now backing off from that policy.
The Association of Chief Police Officers sent out a memo Friday night warning officers to stop harassing photographers under the guise of anti-terrorism laws, which we know has been happening at an alarming rate.
According to the Independent:
“Officers and community support officers are reminded that we should not be stopping and searching people for taking photos. Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional, is unacceptable.
“Everyone… has a right to take photographs and film in public places. Taking photographs… is not normally cause for suspicion and there are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place.”
He added: “We need to make sure that our officers and Police Community Support Officers [PCSOs] are not unnecessarily targeting photographers just because they are going about their business. The last thing in the world we want to do is give photographers a hard time or alienate the public. We need the public to help us.
“Photographers should be left alone to get on with what they are doing. If an officer is suspicious of them for some reason they can just go up to them and have a chat with them – use old-fashioned policing skills to be frank – rather than using these powers, which we don’t want to over-use at all.”