Feeds

Sussex police try new tactic to relieve snappers of pics

Section 19. Nanananana..........

Boost IT visibility and business value

The problem of police decision-making on who is permitted to take photographs of what is highlighted again in a disturbing incident at the weekend, where film was seized at an anti-fascist protest in Brighton.

According to a statement by Sussex Police: "Under Section 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act [1984], an officer policing the event seized a video tape from a member of the public. Section 23 of the Act states that this can take place in 'any place', providing the officer is lawfully there and has reasonable grounds to believe it provides evidence of a criminal offence.

"The officer reasonably believed the tape contained evidence of a protester being assaulted by someone taking part in the march. It has been seized temporarily to ensure that evidence cannot be inadvertently lost or altered and will be returned, intact, to the owner as soon as possible."

This is an interesting development legally and not one that has been heard of elsewhere in the police.

We spoke with the Met, and while they were unable categorically to deny the use of s19 in this fashion, our contact there suggested that in his experience the easiest way to obtain photographic evidence of a crime was "to ask the individual concerned – or their editor where news media were involved".

What about ACPO? They are in the process of updating their guidelines on the release of images to the media, and have also recently updated their guidance note on the rights of the public to take photos in public places – but have said nothing on this matter.

This may be a one-off - if not, it is worrying. Photographer and blogger Marc Vallée spoke to human rights lawyer Anna Mazzola of Hickman & Rose. She said: "This episode reveals a worrying policy.

"Sussex police clearly think that Section 19 entitles them to remove film and footage from people where they suspect they have evidence of a crime and they can say that they have reason to believe the person may destroy that evidence.

"That is disturbing news for journalists and amateur photographers, particularly those covering public order events. While the police obviously have a duty to prevent and detect crime, they also have to provide some assurance that they will not use Section 19 to seize journalistic material." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.