England Set to Make Photographing Police a Crime

thumb_policeman_cartoonEngland is about to make it illegal to take photographs of police officers in a continuing trend limiting the free press and free speech in the West. This ill-conceived law, The Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, will take effect on February 16th and “allows for the arrest and imprisonment of anyone who takes pictures of officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.” For this crime, you can get up to ten years and a fine.

Journalists in England have been facing rising limitations on their ability to photograph police operations. On such controversy involves film-maker Darren Pollard who was cleaning his front garden after a flood when he noticed the police harassing a youth opposite his house. After a police officer spotted him filming the alleged abuse, they told him that it was illegal to film police.

Likewise, an English citizen was arrested for filming an officer engaged in a dangerous traffic violation, as discussed in this earlier entry.

From the Rodney King beating to recent New York protest abuse videos and recent BART shooting, we have seen how citizen videos have proven a critical element in proving police abuse. England is now set to deter this growing and positive trend.

For the full story, click here.

19 thoughts on “England Set to Make Photographing Police a Crime”

  1. “those that hide from sight , are those that break the law.”
    a relative of mine once said the above, a long time Police chief!
    no one no one is above the law and when the police hide they are
    are the most dangerous criminals

  2. I agree that the international media needs to call England out on this matter but I am also concerned that the US MSM is in no position morally to do so because of the corporate or philosophically driven self censorship they themselves practice. The international media needs to call the US out on this 😉

    I have come to call the citizen news media “the 5Th Estate”. That includes bloggers and the people that use their cell-phones and YouTube to film news as it breaks. This kind of instant reportage is unprecedented and a breath of fresh air. It must also scare the powers-that-be half to death and they are pushing back hard.

    A headline and story in The Washington Post today:
    “Local Police Want Right to Jam Wireless Signals”
    I can’t imagine that limited range jamming takes much equipment and a device to do so probably could become part of the typical police officers’ tool belt or built into the electronics of a squad-car. I see this as an assault on the 5Th Estate and whatever oversight of local law enforcement by the citizenry cell phone technology facilitates.

    I write the White House website and leave a comment at the “Contact” page at least every other day.
    This story and my opposition to allowing this tool local use was my comment for today.

  3. Lottakatz:

    England has never embraced the robust free expression and free media traditions as the United States. Preferring to show benign application of the laws. The Crown laws are enough to throw a civil libertarians into a fetal position. I have never understood why such an educated and advanced nation would allow such restrictions to continue. The English seem to prefer an Damocles sword hanging over the heads of the media by a thread. This law is another example of the need for the international media to call England to account for its treatment of the fourth estate.

  4. There is a move underway to make silent pictue-taking with phones illegal in the US. I just Googled to see if I could find the specific posting I read and there is a treasure trove of info out there.

    England is already the country with the greatest level of survailence of its citizens and the abuse of that technology and mindset makes the British papers regularly. I follow online editions of British papers and the stories of abuse just keep coming up.

    I am not for any law in the US that might weaken the (too few) methods of oversight of the police.


  5. People, people, can we please try to stay on topic here? This is supposed to be a thread about big brother taking away our ability to monitor, film and record those who are monitoring, filming and recording us …

    This isn’t supposed to be about ‘drumming up business’.

    However, if you act now, Mojo’s Mighty Bicycle Machines are on sale at participating Wal-Mart stores. Get yours before they’re gone!

  6. Mike A.,

    I never thought you were hear to drum up business. I value your contributions a great deal and I hope you keeping posting. Although we do not always agree, I ALWAYS value your thoughts.

  7. The blue lettering has nothing to do with website operator status.

    Case in point,’Sally’ links to eBay. Obviously, she doesn’t own eBay…

    It happened to me, once, after updating Firefox – ???

    Seeing posts mysteriously appear much later after posting and/or disappear, has been happening for a couple of months now- also, not new.

    I,of course, blame the usual (un)timely upsets on Mercury Retrograde
    – since January 11… 😉

    Watch out this weekend as it flips forward on 2/1 and for the next
    few days.

  8. Mike A:

    I did not mean to imply that. I meant it in a social manor and if business comes up so much the better.

  9. Jill and Bron98, I’m not here to drum up business. I guess I use my real name because I’m old enough not to worry whether someone else thinks I’m dumb. Or, as my wife might say, that boat’s already sailed.

  10. Jill:

    I believe that the http://n/a is in the box for your website already and has nothing to do with what server you are using. Another instance of liberal confusion. I think Prof. Turley has allowed us if we are so inclined to post our web adresses vis a vis Mike Appleton, if you click on his name you are directed to his web site. I think JT actually thouhgt his site might be used for some networking among the legal profession and other businesses but because of Buddha and Mike S and some others (I will include me in this although I have been here a short time) most people get scared and leave. What with Buddha wanting to put the Bruce Lee to them and calling everyone a Nazi he disagrees with.

    My apologies to Prof. Turley for my contribution to the madness.

  11. The New World Order is advancing at a rapid rate!!

    ‘this town is coming like a ghost town.’

  12. I’m having trouble with the blog site today. Posts are appearing and disappering. This should have gone on the Karl Rove, I am the walrus!, site

  13. I notice that Bron and Jason 2L both have: http://n/a when scrolling over their monikers. I don’t know if it means they are the same person or just posting from the same type of site. For my part, I’m ingnoring Bron and remaining circumspect about Jason 2L until I see what’s going on with this. I’d rather stay on topic or discuss the topics that people who are thoughtfull and playful bring up on this blog. Distraction is another way to controll/redirect a discussion and Bron shouldn’t get away with that.

  14. England.

    Rapidly becoming just what Orwell and Moore envisioned.

    Congratulations on being added to the list of country’s that won’t get my tourism dollars. It wasn’t just this one thing. You’ve had it coming.

  15. No reasonable person can possibly determine when he or she is violating this statute. I defy anyone to offer a clear explanation of the phrase “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.” Presumably this law would be declared unconstitutional on its face if adopted in the U.S.

    On the positive side, the act may be useful in serving as legal cover for the periodic round-up of especially obnoxious American tourists.

Comments are closed.