Anorak News | Why Do Police Continue To Harass Photographers? Jules Mattsson Beats The Abuse Of Power

Why Do Police Continue To Harass Photographers? Jules Mattsson Beats The Abuse Of Power

by | 15th, December 2011

POLICE State update: Two police community support officers have told Tom Maddick, 25, that taking was taking pictures around Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, is illegal. They told him delete the images or else.

Says Maddick:

“I was walking along and took a photograph where they [PCSOs] were in frame, nothing was said until I was roughly 50 metres or so away when I heard someone shout. The male PCSO then asked me what I was doing, so [I] explained, politely. The officer then went on to demand I delete the images. I was told by the female officer I should get permission of everyone I photograph in a public space. I then refused to delete the images I had captured.”

So. Anyone caught on CCTV has to be asked if they would mind being filmed? What right has the PCO got to approach Mr Maddick, a private person going about his private business?

Maddick was told “it was illegal to take photographs in a public place”.

It’s not.

In a statement, the force said: “Nottinghamshire Police has clear guidelines for dealing with photographers at incidents.” They said it was a “training issue“.

This follows the news of how Jules Mattsson was told that taking photos of a military parade in Romford, in June 2010, was againat the law.

The Metropolitan Police inspector told Mattsson, then 15, that he was “silly”, “gay” and “stupid”. The foul copper said – irony of ironies – Mattsson as engaging in “anti-social behaviour”. The inspector added that taking photo was “dangerous” because Mattsson was “likely to be trampled on by soldiers”.

He then added: “I consider you a threat under the Terrorism Act young man. I’ve had enough.”

After a court case, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said:

‘The … Directorate of Legal Services, on behalf of the commissioner, agreed an out-of-court settlement, as well as paying compensation and meeting legal costs for a 16-year-old male, following an incident where he was prevented by officers taking pictures at the Armed Forces Parade in Romford on 26 June 2010. An apology has also been issued.”

Congratulation to Mattsson for standing up to the police and getting the right result.

If anyone is guilty of harassment it’s the police.

Posted: 15th, December 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink