Posts Tagged ‘section44’

UK Crime Minister Reassures Photogs

More good news for photographers in the UK. A week after UK’s terror tsar called for the abolition of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, UK’s Crime Minister David Hanson has new statements assuring photographers that anti-terrorism legislation should not be used to hinder photography. He is quoted as saying,

I recently met with Austin Mitchell MP, members of the Parliamentary All Party Photography Group and representatives of the photographic press and the Royal Photographic Society to discuss the issue of counter terrorism powers and offences in relation to photography.

I welcomed the opportunity to reassure all those concerned with this issue that we have no intention of Section 44 or Section 58A being used to stop ordinary people taking photos or to curtail legitimate journalistic activity.

Guidance has been provided to all police forces advising that these powers and offences should not be used to stop innocent member of the public, tourists or responsible journalists from taking photographs.

These powers and offences are intended to help protect the public and those on the front line of our counter terrorism operations from terrorist attack. For the 58A offence to be committed, the information is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

I have committed to writing to Austin Mitchell MP to reinforce this message and to follow-up on the representations made.

Indeed, news of photographers being stopped unreasonably has died down in recent weeks, so it seems as though things are becoming more photographer-friendly in the UK. If you’re in the UK, have you noticed any improvement?

(via Digital Photography Now)


Image credit: Shooting the Man by neate photos

Repeal Section 44, Says British Terror Tsar

Lord Carlile, the official reviewer of terrorism legislation in the UK, has begun calling for the abolition of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial stop and search law that allows police to search individuals without having reasonable suspicion has become the bane of many street photographers, who are often ordered to stop shooting and are detained when uncooperative.

In January, over 2,000 photographers gathered in Trafalgar Square in London to protest Section 44, and apparently the negative publicity has gotten the attention of the government. The London evening standard reported yesterday that Carlile has begun calling for the act to be repealed:

Lord Carlile of Berriew said the use of Section 44 powers was having a “disproportionately bad effect on community relations” and had become “counter-productive” in the fight against terrorism.

He also revealed that not a single arrest for terrorism offences and only “morsels” of intelligence had resulted from more than 200,000 such searches carried out last year — 151,000 in the Metropolitan Police area alone.

He suggests that the new law should allow searches without reasonable suspicion to be carried out only during terrorist events or around a small number of sites critical to the countries infrastructure.

What we found interesting was the following quote:

Nothing fills my in-tray and in-box more than complaints on the use of Section 44.

Well photographers, your voices were heard!

(via Amateur Photographer)


Image credit: ‘Im a Photographer not a Terrorist’ by =chris=