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View Poll Results: Does being hassled by police or security put you off photographing in public?
Yes it does and I photograph less in public than before. 8 61.54%
No it doesn't. I know my right and I'm confident about my photography in public. 5 38.46%
I'm not sure. 0 0%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 26-12-10
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
Gentlemen, if I may clarify, as my punctuation caused my previous post to be ambiguous. I have been beaten on one occasion. I have been illegally detained on one occasion and I have been verbally abused on too many occasions to remember them all. You may choose to believe whatever supports your particular opinions. Your experiences may lead you to conclude I am not being truthful, if this is the case then I am pleased for you, but I would ask you to consider this question: what is to be gained ? Convincing yourselves that my story is a nothing other than a tissue of lies constructed for purposes of trolling may provide you with a degree of comfort but it won't make it so.
In 67 years of living in the UK I have never had an unhappy contact with our police, other than a finger wagging for speeding a couple of times and even then I was referred to as Sir.
You have been a visitor on occasion to the UK and claim to have been beaten once, illegally detained once and verbally abused on uncountable occasions.
I therefore ask what were the situations for these unfortunate events, there must have been some reason for contact with the police in the first place. They don't randomly pick persons out for attention and even if they did the odds of it happening more than once would be very slim. We are a nation of 60 million with a woefully undermanned police force, they don't have time for such silly games. I can accept as stated before there will be the odd rotted apple but contact for one reason or another must take place for abuse to happen even then.

Patrick
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  #17  
Old 26-12-10
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

I was born in the UK, I am a British citizen and lived in the UK, in various places for 40 years. All of these "unfortunate events" took place whilst going about my lawful, legitimate daily business, as evidenced by the fact that I have never been arrested, cautioned or charged, for any offence. I can recall only one instance where contact was initiated by myself, the response in this one instance was not publishable here. In some cases the contact was random in the extreme; quite contrary to your assertion that this doesn't happen, the stop and search statistics show exactly the opposite. In fact the treatment of photographers, recently highlighted on this forum and in many other places, shows this to be the case. In another case it was simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the 40 years I lived in the UK I struggle to recall, out of hundreds of instances, a single positive contact with the UK police.
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  #18  
Old 26-12-10
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

I think we're all losing perspective a bit in this thread. I have no doubt Kenton is telling the truth, but even so I think his experience is unusual and unfortunate.

The focus of the thread is about the attitude of the police to photographers and this, alas, is definitely rather chequered, along with the unhelpful and small-minded attitude of PCSOs and private security personnel.

It will be very interesting to see if the police regard photographers in a better light this coming year.

Ian
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  #19  
Old 27-12-10
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Yes Ian, it does seem that we have allowed our personal prejudices to lead us off topic. Please accept my apologies.

Back to the original topic. I have no doubt that there is something sinister at work here but it is in a much wider context than simply the intimidation of photographers. This, I am sure is due mostly to a lack of consideration at the top level and a lack of education among the rank and file. With the bad publicity the issue has received, in recent months, police forces in general are on the back foot and I am sure that both failings will be rectified in the coming year. This will ensure better educated regular police on the streets and will go someway towards reducing the police intimidation of photographers.

This, however, is only part of the problem as I doubt Community Support Officers and private security guards will receive the same training and oversight and it is from this direction that problems will continue to arrive.
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  #20  
Old 30-12-10
johnthegasman johnthegasman is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Hi, if you want to take street photo's then here is a little tip that works very well. First you will need a wireless remote. I have one for my Leica Digilux 2 and 3 also one for my Canon D5 ( both cost around £15 off E-bay). Next a good wide angle lens, set up the camera a little higher than normal on the strap around your neck, a scarf placed around your shoulders or coat covering the camera body, and away you go. Keep the remote handset in your pocket and all you need is to get near the subject and fire away. This can get some real candid shots as you are not holding the camera at face level giving everyone an idea what you are doing! I suppose the only downside is if you do get questioned on what you are doing it could look a little worse than shooting in the normal way. That said I have never been even noticed when shooting like this. The other question is why should we have to resort to this sort of method when taking legitimate photo's.
Happy New Year Everyone
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  #21  
Old 30-12-10
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Josh Bear Josh Bear is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Dear All,

It is sad to hear the negative experiences of visitors to the UK and there is no doubt that in recent years there has been an increase in "Tension" between photographers and police / PCOs. This was confirmed to me by my local MP when I had cause to ask his opinion on stop and search methods about 18 months ago.

However as some of you may know I am a frequent visitor to London with a camera and I have never had an issue. My camera (mostly the 5d mark 2) is out all the time and I have taken pictures throughout the tube network, tourist locations, and general locations using a tripod etc. Examples below.

My point is I wouldn't like the many people who read this forum but don't post to be put off visiting and photographing this fantastic, welcoming city.

Best Regards

Josh

http://www.pbase.com/joshbear/london_feb_2009&page=all


http://www.pbase.com/joshbear/london_in_june&page=all


http://www.pbase.com/joshbear/london&page=all
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  #22  
Old 31-12-10
TheBull1875 TheBull1875 is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthegasman View Post
Hi, if you want to take street photo's then here is a little tip that works very well. First you will need a wireless remote. I have one for my Leica Digilux 2 and 3 also one for my Canon D5 ( both cost around £15 off E-bay). Next a good wide angle lens, set up the camera a little higher than normal on the strap around your neck, a scarf placed around your shoulders or coat covering the camera body, and away you go. Keep the remote handset in your pocket and all you need is to get near the subject and fire away. This can get some real candid shots as you are not holding the camera at face level giving everyone an idea what you are doing! I suppose the only downside is if you do get questioned on what you are doing it could look a little worse than shooting in the normal way. That said I have never been even noticed when shooting like this. The other question is why should we have to resort to this sort of method when taking legitimate photo's.
Happy New Year Everyone
Think I would rather confront the police John. That sounds well dodgy mate.
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  #23  
Old 05-01-11
Brian Jackson Brian Jackson is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Ok, this has been interesting. The police in Florida are generally ok, but the drug trade through here makes them all too interested in anything out of the ordinary. But I would never think of not carrying my camera to take pictures lawfully. If I were to be questioned, I would answer the questions and expect to be on my way. That should end it. If not, as it was stated about the UK, any number of news agencies would be happy to intercede on my behalf. Perhaps dialogue through the news media would help. No shortage of reporters wanting a different story to get involved in. DIfferent countries do things differently, I'm sure. I was taking pictures of the Red Guard marching down the street in Beijing, and the leader (who happened to be in the back) is squarely looking at me in one of my frames. The part that isn't on film is him wagging his finger at me. Needless to say, I waited for him to pass before continuing shooting.
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  #24  
Old 29-05-11
straupenieks straupenieks is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

So far I only had good experience with UK police, maybe it's due to the fact that I live in a small town (Derby). They have a couple of photography courses in the Uni of Derby, and students are being advised to call the police and give them heads-up if they are going to be shooting at night somewhere or using massive equipment. A friend of mine is studying commercial photography there and I was once assisting her with a small shoot in city centre at night. About 15mins after we started, a police car came up. The officers said there had been reports of some drunken idiots causing trouble nearby, so they are going to stick around and see that we are not being disturbed by them.
To be honest - I was pretty shocked, I didn't expect any police officer to act this way. But I am very grateful to them.
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  #25  
Old 29-05-11
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by straupenieks View Post
So far I only had good experience with UK police, maybe it's due to the fact that I live in a small town (Derby). They have a couple of photography courses in the Uni of Derby, and students are being advised to call the police and give them heads-up if they are going to be shooting at night somewhere or using massive equipment. A friend of mine is studying commercial photography there and I was once assisting her with a small shoot in city centre at night. About 15mins after we started, a police car came up. The officers said there had been reports of some drunken idiots causing trouble nearby, so they are going to stick around and see that we are not being disturbed by them.
To be honest - I was pretty shocked, I didn't expect any police officer to act this way. But I am very grateful to them.
Doing there job then that's got to be good.

Errr Derby a small town, I don't think so its a city.

They had a good Photo festival a few weeks ago, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Patrick
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  #26  
Old 29-05-11
straupenieks straupenieks is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Errr Derby a small town, I don't think so its a city.
Patrick
Nope, it's a small town. If you can walk through the city center in 15 mins max... Suburbs don't count in my book.
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  #27  
Old 29-05-11
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

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Originally Posted by straupenieks View Post
Nope, it's a small town. If you can walk through the city center in 15 mins max... Suburbs don't count in my book.
We shall have to agree to differ on that one.
A town or city is about its people as much as about it's buildings and they have to live somewhere, which must include the suburbs as well as more central locations.
I visit there regularly (its only about 35-40miles from where we live) as I and my wife have a soft spot for the place.
I travel about the country and visit real small towns, where the centre can be walked in 5 mins in fact my local town of Walsall the town centre can be walked in about 5-6mins. I can walk the city centre of Birmingham in about 30mins perhaps a bit less, and it is claimed to be the second city. I believe Manchester has a stronger claim to that title now but that's another story.
Much of course can depend on where you consider the centre to end and the rest begin.

Patrick
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  #28  
Old 29-05-11
straupenieks straupenieks is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

I think we are going off-topic here. But you are right, the definition of size depends on perception...
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  #29  
Old 30-05-11
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

It's interesting to see some of these old discussions being re-discovered

The main problem I occasionally have is with private security guards. I was even challenged outside of my office when using a large lens and tripod. It turned out to be the boss of the security company that overseas the complex where our office is. I know most of the guards but I had not seen him before.

Ian
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  #30  
Old 30-05-11
straupenieks straupenieks is offline
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Re: Police intimidation of photographers?

Yes, private security is a whole different matter. I often wonder if being rather small minded, stubborn and overly suspicious is a pre-requisite to become one. It also seems like a lot of them are simply bored out of their minds and really enjoy appearing important, even if they have no real authority in the matter.
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