Feeds

Photocops: Home Office concedes concern

Zooming in on the snapper-stoppers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

These powers apply to "designated areas", which the Met confirmed last night currently cover the whole of London, subject to review of this status on a 28-day basis.

Despite this issue finally being debated in Parliament, there is still a good deal of confusion over what the issues are and what is going on.

The incidents that John Randall describes are at the extreme end: they involve police over-stepping the mark and requiring members of the public to hand over film or delete film despite the fact that no such power exists. This is confirmed by existing police guidelines.

A spokeswoman for the Met confirms that the police are committed to allowing photographers to continue their work as normally as possible. She told us: "Any allegations or complaints about police treatment of photographers is taken very seriously by the MPS."

The second is a much broader issue of fearfulness on the part of photographers, brought about by the way in which police are increasingly using a range of stop powers to gather intelligence or, as some activists have argued, to exert social control.

A further issue is that "stop and account" exists in a grey area between formal and informal policing. Serving officers have complained to us that it should not be in any way surprising if police occasionally stop individuals and ask them to explain their presence in an area. However, the formalisation of this process under PACE, combined with form-filling and database, creates a much greater degree of public suspicion on the part of some sections of the public.

Thus, Mr Mason appears to have been stopped not under terror legislation, but simply using PACE. "Reasonable suspicion" in this and similar cases boils down to the fact that bad people have been known to take photos of public buildings – so talking to Mr Mason was justified.

However, as we have reported previously, the way in which the Met is increasingly redefining the boundaries of what counts as suspicious activity is itself worrying and begins to look like law-making by default. This is an issue that needs to be kept firmly under the spotlight. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.