Terrorism & Photography

We are carrying out some re-branding at the office. Our details selling or letting property have been freshened up – and I think they look great.

The sort of picture that can get you stopped?

As part of the new look we are incorporating quite a few photographs – more than we used to. I mentioned this earlier in the week here. And so we needed some ‘stock-shots’ to build up the brochures. Although we have some images it was time to refresh these too. My youngest son is a budding photographer and so was ‘commissioned’ to take a whole series of images for the office.

At the weekend he set about the task – he used his bike to get around and was on his 6th ‘property’ – the Porsche dealership on Lenton Lane in Nottingham. He was on the pavement taking a few shots. All was going well until a Policeman pulled up.

What then happened is worrying. Partly because it happened but also because what was said is factually incorrect.

He was asked what he was doing – and he explained he had been commissioned. He was also asked for his name and address – which he refused to give. He did ask why and was told that it was under s.44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He still refused and there was something of a stand-off. The Policemen eventually left him – and Jak carried on.

This is not really acceptable. This is an 18 year old – taking pictures on a public pavement in full view (hardly the actions of a covert terrorism operation). The Policeman quoted s.44 – which is incorrect. The European Court ruled it a breach of civil liberty. The Police are still able to use s.43 of the same Act, but this gives Police the power to stop and search anyone who they “reasonably suspect to be a terrorist under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act.”

Back in March new Laws were introduced – Section 47A gives a “senior police officer” the power to make an authorisation in “relation to a specified area or place” if the officer “reasonably suspects that an act of terrorism will take place” and “considers that the authorisation is necessary to prevent such an act.”

I think this may all have been a bit over the top – ignoring the fact that there was an attempt to harass him with an incorrect piece of Law…