The War on Photographers

This is a long article, so I am only including the beginning –

The war on photographers – you’re all al Qaeda suspects now

Analysis When you hear the phrase “helping police with their inquiries”, does an image of dedicated selfless citizenry instantly spring to mind? Or do you wonder whether the reality is not slightly more sinister?

How about “voluntarily handing over film to the police”.

Stephen Carroll is a keen amateur photographer, with an interest in candid portraiture: “street photography”, he calls it. In December 2007, he was in the centre of Hull taking photos.

Unfortunately for him, his actions were spotted by two local policemen. They stopped him in the middle of Boots and asked him to accompany them outside. There they told him that he had been taking photographs of “sensitive buildings”. One said: “I am taking your film”.

Mr Carroll requested an explanation. He asked whether he was “obligated” to hand over the film. In vain! Every time he asked, back came the same response: “I am taking your film”. Robocop is alive and well and apparently working in Humberside.

When he eventually handed over his film, he was asked to turn out his pockets and to show what other films he had on him.

Read more

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One thought on “The War on Photographers”

  1. I read similar stories almost every month in the readers’ letters of magazines like Popular Photo. I know I’ve let some photo ops go around places like federal office buildings rather than look suspicious — I’m not a citizen, after all. It looks worse for a measly greencard holder. 😦

    Like

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