Sunday, 8 March 2009

Photos in Public Places

Today I wrote to my MP about the treatment of photographers and their kit when taking shots in public places.

I was spurred on by a report of an Early Day Motion started in Parliament regarding street photography:

Early Day Motion

EDM 1155
PHOTOGRAPHY IN PUBLIC AREAS
11.03.2008


Mitchell, Austin

That this House is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people's art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious ground such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public's right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.



You can see the uk parliament page here and check if your MP has signed up to it - there were 245 as of today (including mine, Linda Gilroy).

If not, write to your MP using http://www.writetothem.com/ - they make it easy to find out who your MP is and make the whole process of emailing them v. easy

If this spurs you on, leave a comment here saying you wrote to your MP about it.
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