Saturday, 6 June 2009

Vernon Coaker says I can take pictures of the police

Following the killing of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demonstrations, I wrote to my MP about the behaviour of the police. My letter included the suggestion that taking photographs of them was more important than ever.

Eventually I got a reply from her, which included a long letter from Vernon Coaker, Minister of State at the Home Office. I have uploaded the complete letter, but here are the relevant portions:
With regards to Mr Rothwell's concerns relating to photographing police officers, there is a misconception regarding the new section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000.
I would like to confirm that a person carrying on legitimate journalistic activity (including taking and publishing photographs of a police officer in the context of responsible journalism) would not be caught by this offence.
Now I would argue that blogging is legitimate journalism, so I can take pictures of the police. I carry this letter with me - please feel free to download it and use it, or pester your MP for your own copy.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting I want my own copy. Not so long ago we had tennants in here arguing with other tennants over personal CCTV systems, in the end it was found something about "prevention and detection of crime" they was allowed to have them, so filming your neighbaurs must be ok sort of. We also found that for 14yrs the council had not complied with the law on filming in the block as apprantly you need signs everywhere telling people and there was not 1.