back to article Romford coppers try to stopper young snapper

Despite fine words from high-ranking police officers, an unpleasant incident in Romford last week suggests that officers on the ground are no nearer understanding or respecting photographers’ rights. This comes just a day after the Met shelled out a large wad of cash to two professional photographers for almost identical …


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  1. Stu

    payouts = taxpayers money.

    Lets not forget that it is our taxpayers money that pays their wages, its the public that actually face the bills for these incompetents. So instead dock the wages of the actual officers responsible a little every month until the *whole* bill is paid off by them personally, as it does boil down to professional incompetency.

    On and on it goes, the police continually violating our rights as people. I'm an amateur photographer in self-training, and this downright worries me that its still going on.

    I get the distinct impression that these memos getting circulated are just being pinned up on noticeboards and passed by every day by officers without the slightest interest, so why do the senior officers not just sit every officer down in a seminar and shove the law down their throats?

    1. James 139

      This is where it goes wrong

      The police are trained, provided with information etc

      If a police officer fails to interpret the law correctly, or is unable to and fails to call base and find out, the police officer alone should pay the compensation, not the force in general.

      This would, at least theoretically, lead to better trained officers, since they would only carry out acts they were 100% certain they were correct in doing.

      1. Tharrick

        I agree..

        ..especially given that the citizens/subjects/denizens/drones of the UK are by law expected to know every single law and every single possible application and interpretation of the law, not to mention every single legal case that has ever occurred and established a legal precedent ('ignorance of the law is no defence')

        For the police, who are supposed to enforce these laws, to have a lesser understanding than a member of the public, is completely unacceptable.

    2. King Jack
      Thumb Up

      Totally Agree

      When a member of the public is fined , the tax payer does not pay, so if a policeman is fined for misconduct, it should come directly from their wages. Only then will this nonsense stop.

  2. Ian Tresman

    Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill |

    A great example of legislation that needs to be repealed, so that it is completely unambiguous as to what is legal. See:

    The Freedom Bill

    The Great Repeal Bill

  3. Michael Fremlins

    I welcome the forthcoming cuts to "frontline" policing

    If it removes morons like this.

    It is time to simply sack them. Get rid of them. No more "words of advice" or any other weasel words. Sack them. And sack the morons who keep on making excuses for them. We don't need them. They serve no purpose whatsoever.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't let them off lightly. PROSECUTE THEM!

      Sacking these criminals would be letting them off lightly. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      Those who are employed to uphold the law but who then commit crimes themselves - especially when abusing their law enforcement positions in doing so - should never, ever get off lightly compared to other criminals.

      We need to make it explicitly clear in law (if it isn't already) that crimes committed by police will be dealt with at least as severely (preferably more severely) than the same crimes committed by others. And this law needs to be rigorously enforced.

      After the behaviour of the police in this case, is it any wonder so many people regard them as the scum of the earth?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, they did have a purpose.

      You forget that anyone in the employ of the government does not count as unemployed, which allows the government to manipulate one of the indicators of the true state of the economy. It is classic New Labour to put this otherwise unemployable lot in a position of power to boot. If you need more examples look at how many parking wardens there now are and what defective personalities you find there.

      Another one for Cameron to turn back, and I'm betting he will be accused of "putting the public at risk" the moment he tries - as if these morons do anything but be busy elsewhere when the going gets tough..

  4. Hedley Lamarr

    Met Police = twats

    I hope he takes them to the fucking cleaners. This doesn't sound like one thick copper didn't know the rules, it sounds like there's a bunch of them, including an Inspector.

    The Met really are a bunch of arseholes.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Be grateful our police aren't routinely armed.

    1. Maverick
      Thumb Up

      I am

      we just spent a week at Le Mans and the CRS are much nicer & certainly more controlled - really!

      there again they are properly trained

      yes the CRS armed and have a fearsome reputation from times past but in our experience they do focus on bad stuff (and I do mean FOCUS) and really turn a big blind eye to all sorts of silly behaviour by race fans many of whom (you may find this hard to believe) have had a few too many beers

      the petty attitude of the Met is at the other end of the scale, glad I don't live down south !

    2. James 139

      So true

      "Sir, I said put the camera down" shouts 1 of 5 officers standing around you pointing guns at you.

      You make the wrong move.


  6. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    Ignorant coppers would be hilarious if they weren't so dangerous.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    If they broke the law?

    Will the law win?

    Let's see a £3.5k fine per policeman at the scene.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      From THEIR OWN pockets

      Title says it all

    2. Hugh Jorgen
      Paris Hilton


      Let's see a £3.5k fine per policeman at the scene.

      Huh? Are you being serious? Here's a wake up call for you. Any time the police, fire dept, council, gov or any public body pay money out it's, get ready for this bombshell, OUR FUCKIN MONEY!

      So OK, wind up the greedy fucktards who agree, have your £3.5k per rozzer at the scene, you fuckin pay for it!!!!

      It's incidents like this and money grabbers like anon who are draining resources that could be better on fuckin tasers for your dumb ass.


      Paris, cos that's how I prefer cocksuckers to look!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Calm down or you'll have a coronary

        Or perhaps maybe we could sack the useless police who still don't actually understand the law they are supposed to be enforcing.

        And take the fines out of their wages.

      2. Peter H. Coffin

        If you don't like the money costs..

        If you'd rather not having police departments paying out money to the citizens they harass, isn't the obvious solution for you to be instead put out with A) the police officers that are causing these problems, and B) the supervision of those officers that are allowing it to happen? THAT solution is free...

      3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Big Brother

        Draining resources that could be better spent.

        Yeah, there called cops, and they should be out preventing real crime instead of wasting public money on these stupid exercises.

        Still, it’s a lot easier to apply the jackboot to a 16 year old kid for taking photographs instead for chasing bag snatchers & shop lifters; after all they are real criminals and might fight back. The kid wasn’t wearing a loud shirt in built up area, was he?

      4. heyrick Silver badge

        @ Hugh Jorgen

        Perhaps you might feel differently when you are doing something you KNOW is legal, world+kitten knows is legal, yet you have some tosser in a uniform harrassing you about it. I think it speaks volumes that, quote: "When asked why the police would not protect a photographer going about their lawful business, the call was terminated."

        Do you not think, dear fucktard, the POLICE should be concerned with upholding the ACTUAL laws, rather than inventing bollocks based upon a blatant (one might suggest deliberate) misreading of badly-written anti-terrorism laws. I mean, other than throwing their weight around like school bullies, what the hell do the police benefit from hassling a kid over a photo? Which was, need I have to point this out again, *not* unlawful.

      5. blackworx

        "Hugh Jorgen"

        Post-nominative determinism

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Copper from the TWAT sqaud.

    Dappy has the right idea:

    Advice to that young photographer - sue the police, and ask for a personal PUBLIC apology from the police officer. He assaulted your rights in a public place, so the least he should do is return there, with a loud hailer, and make a grovelling public apology.

    1. Jacqui


      All that will happen is he will get a "telling off" and in six months a promotion to counter the verbal/written warning they were *forced* to give him. THIS is why the met continue to act like drug crazed storm troopers - the front line know they will get a verbal but will then get an early promotion

      and promotion means more money - so beat up a journo and get more pay :-)

      Using a decent DSLR in london or wales is just asking to be stopped, beaten up and have your shiny camera stolen by the plod.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't coppers picking on people younger and younger these days?

    Can they sink any lower? After this you have to wonder if they aren't at least within sight of rock bottom.

  10. Ted Treen
    Big Brother

    Bruxelles, nul points...

    They're just trying to foist a continental legal system on us.

    For centuries in Britain, everything has been permitted excepting that which is expressly forbidden.

    Au continent, everything is forbidden excepting that which is expressly permitted.

    The latter is a jobsworth/control freak's idea of heaven, and it's apparent how this appeals to some...

    1. rpjs

      [citation needed]

      Nope, sorry not accepting your kneejerk xenophobia until you show me where it is wriiten in Roman Law or any subsequent statute that "everything is forbidden excepting that which is expressly permitted"

    2. foo_bar_baz

      Oh please

      Reference please. After all, Wikipedia must be wrong when it asserts that the presumption of innocence is encoded into EU law.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Presumption of innocence

        The concept of the "presumption of innocence" does not have anything to do with what is or is not allowed under law - it merely contends that if you are accused of a crime, you are presumed to not have committed the crime until proven in a court of law (with a jury of your peers).

        Presuming innocence doesn't mean you can't be "detained" forcibly by the plod for looking odd. They are not a court of law. Perhaps that's what they fail to understand?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    It is a question of cost

    The last government encouraged and put in place as far as possible a police state. The current government are visibly dismantling the expensive bits with great fanfare. Until fines for abuse of this law become measurable in terms of the budget deficit, nothing will change. No government in their right mind gives up control unless forced by circumstance.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Viva la revolution

    "Mark [Thomas] has encouraged members of the public to bite back, any time they feel the Police have abused their rights".

    Somewhat easier to say than do and perhaps easier for Mark who has a higher profile and more of a platform than the rest of us - I am not saying he is wrong, he is absolutely right.

    The police state preys on fear to achieve compliance and any attempt to stand up to it can bring even worse consequences. Abuse by the state therefore becomes accepted as, although wrong, that's hopefully the end of it. Push for justice and you can bring a whirlwind of worse down on your head which can potentially ruin careers and future employment possibilities as well as ongoing aggravation.

    We should stand up for our rights but it is understandable that we often do not. It is in such situations that people look to the state to protect us - Cameron and Clegg should get off their arses and actually do something to curtail police abuse and excesses. When a state agency abuses citizens it needs to be properly punished, made an example of, when the police think themselves above the law they need to be slapped back into place. The ConDems can either fix the problem or be part of the problem.

  13. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Its very well worth listening to the youtube video...

    It gets ever worse the more you get into the video. The nazis moron police try to use every move they can to justify their action and fail at every step of the way, when the photographer says no to each thing they say. (a more senior police officer gets into the argument from 3:20 in the video and its pure gold. Its one jaw dropping fail after another and no matter how hard he tries, he can't justify their actions, so instead he just digs a bigger hole for himself).

    This isn't even close to a free country with this kind of police behaviour. :( … Its unbelievable the way they try to manipulate the guy. Plus you can't even tell them they are wrong, because then they say that's a breach of the peace, by arguing with them, so they have you every fucking way they want.

    A full transcript of this senior officer needs to be taken, its jaw dropping. Everyone should hear or read what he said. :(

    1. Hugh Jorgen
      Black Helicopters


      This isn't even close to a free country with this kind of police behaviour.

      We don't live in a free country. There is no right to free speach. We don't have a constitution like the Merkins stating any of our rights. We're basically a nation of cattle funding leaches with armies and guns.

      We live in a police state, that's just how it is. Try and change it and you'll be a 'terrorist' which can attract some legal bad things in your general direction.

      I can't figure out what's more upsetting, people who are deluded in thinking we're a "free society", or the fact we've not fully appreciated the beautiful seide effects of having a police state and invaded the good old days.

    2. slhilly

      The audio is fantastic

      It's really clear that what's happening is that the officers are getting more and more irritated by the photographer's refusal to just do what they want him to do. They clearly don't "get" the idea that people don't have to do what they say simply because they're police officers. They think "if I've asked nicely, and I'm a copper, he should bloody well do what I've asked". They think their authority stems from their uniform, instead of the law. It's a cultural thing that needs tackling.

    3. peter 45

      Number of reasons?

      What is funny is the number of reasons given to stop his photography. I counted:

      Health and Safety

      Photos of Armed forces is illegal

      Photos of Police officers is illegal

      Public Order (Alarm and distress)

      Photos of underage children is illegal

      Of course we all know the real reason, he was guilty of the henous crime of saying no to 'de leu'

  14. Dan P

    Simply Unbelievable...

    Having watch the YouTube clip from start to end, this is utterly dispicable. The officers obviously don't have a clue about the law, and keep changing the reason they're stopping and eventually arresting him, ranging from taking photographs of children with their parents present, the military, frontline police officers, and finally citing the terrorism act and arresting him for disturbing the peace. With the exception of the last one, all are legal. What's worse is that they manhandle the kid, take his camera (that's called stealing, isn't it?), and apparently push him down some stairs along the way, as well as obviously intimidating him and asking him to stop recording audio (dodgy much?!).

    I hope he gets one hell of a payout and the police give up trying to enforce non-existant laws and concentrate on the real ones.

    Meglomaniacal idiots.

  15. Richard Jukes


    I do believe to photograph children under the age of 16, parental permission is required. I seem to recall that from my Uni days in Journalism. Other than that tho; snap away, the public highway is the public highway!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      No permission is required to photograph any activity by anyone in a public place. Otherwise if you took a shot of a crowded beach in the summer you would have to check the age of everyone in the photograph and then seek permission before you take the picture.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        As far as I am aware, in a public place you can take pictures of whomever or whatever you like, so long as you don't violate an individuals personal space (IE shooting down a woman's clevage etc). In terms of publishing pictures, I believe you need permission (either of the person or that persons guardian) for identifiable people, so again, crowd shots really are fine, individuals should be asked.

        However, IANAL.

    2. John Wilson


      Nope. Permission is never needed to take a photograph of anyone in a public space.

      *However*. If you take a picture of an identifiable person as a journalist, you may have been advised to get permission if you wish to publish the story/photograph abroad.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: permission of identifiable persons

        As the photographer, you are the rights holder. You don't think the Sun or Mail have to pay individuals (celebrities or not) who happen to be the focus of a photograph taken in public areas, do you? Its the photographer who gets paid, not the subject.

        However as a journalist, you may be under contract that any photos you take are the property of your employer, but hopefully you would know best the details of any contract you signed concerning that.

        Icon? Its all about the (copyright licensing) cash, baby.

  16. LuMan

    Give 'em their do...

    ..after all they have got targets to meet. And let's face it; it's easier to harrass some youngster with a camera than it is to square up to a group of hoodies who are chucking bricks at a retirement home.

    More seriously, though, I had a mountain bike nicked and despite furnishing the local plod with video footage of the event, the number plate of the getaway vehicle and the frigging ADDRESS of the owner of said vehicle, the police still can't advise me on their progress. However, they DID come round to see me and then spend 20 minutes telling how much trouble I'd be in if I 'took matters into my own hands.'

    Thanks, Local Constabulary. Glad to see my council tax is being well spent </sarc>

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      "spend 20 minutes telling how much trouble I'd be in if I 'took matters into my own hands.'"

      that's because they are not afraid of criminals, they are afraid of the public..thin blue line and all that.

      They seem to have forgotten, however, that they can only perform their duties with the *permission* of the public.

    2. DaveyDaveDave
      Thumb Down

      Similar experience...

      Any guesses about what happened when I phoned Cardiff police from my car to say that I was following the guy who I'd just seen smashing my neighbour's window?

      Of course - they couldn't possibly speak to me while I was driving.

      Result: criminal walks free; helpful member of the public decides not to bother next time.

      1. Lamont Cranston

        But, but, but,

        what if, as a consquence of using the phone whilst driving, you'd run over the poor smasher of windows?

        What then, eh? You make me sick.

  17. Alex Deane (Big Brother Watch)

    Let's support this photographer against this overbearing nonsense

    Some officers think that anti-terror legislation gives them blanket powers to hassle people whenever they want. This case is a very bad example of that.

    Confronted by bullying and hectoring policemen, acting entirely outside their powers, this young man admirably stood up for himself and rightly maintained that he was entitled to take pictures in a public place.

    The police should apologise immediately and admit that they were in the wrong. If they don’t, he should commence legal action and Big Brother Watch will help him all we can.

    In the meantime: complain to the force here:

    19 Main Road



    RM1 3BJ


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suspended without pay

    Each and EVERY one of those "officers" should be suspended immediately without pay. They should then be prosecuted for both illegally detaining someone and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    That won't happen so sue the force and take out private prosecutions against them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Private prosecution

      for assault etc is easy, you go to Magistrates Court and swear an information, they get summons and you stand up in court and present the evidence.

      I was told by barrister who suggested I should do one that the max costs they can award against you is £50 if you lose. You can emply solicitor to represent you if you want but you must lay the information yourself. Much cheaper and safer than going for civil court damages.

      If convicted they get criminal record and in event of Police would then probably lose their jobs. Not many police officers with criminal record!

      1. Ted Treen

        "..Not many police officers with criminal record!.."

        but evidently several who should have one.

      2. El Richard Thomas
        Thumb Down

        Slight problem...

        You then end up with a convicted thug who knows who you are and where you live, has lots of friends in the police and whose behaviour is no longer constrained by the fact he might lose his job as a police officer.

        The words "frying pan" and "fire" spring to mind...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The company I work for issues update to guidelines, mission statement and briefings daily, often fairly long and detailed documents. These are by and large ignored by the workforce, because we have better things to do. It used to be that we had monthly staff meetings that brought us up to date with all of these things, but now in this age of self service and collaborative technologies, most of us don't bother, after all do you really want to listen to an all staff briefing by the CEO telling us about the latest management sales initiative, especially when he won't know if you are there or not.

    Do you think the Met or any Police Force is better, I seriously doubt this, and it's a management thing, issue an update on the portal, or an all staff eMail, and everybody knows.

    The only way the average Plod is going to notice is if something very public and very expensive happens to the next policeman who misuses his powers.

    BTW: could we have a new offence of misrepresentation of the law, punishable by a minimum term of 5 years. ( Now what would be the unforseen effect of that one?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters


      There would have been a briefing parade prior to this event, also most stations with more than one officer have briefing parades prior to going out on the street.

      NO EXCUSES for lack of knowledge, but try to get them to use the Harrassment Act when you need them to and they don't have a clue about that either. Stock response either it is a civil matter see a solicitor or it is not harrassment, if you weren't here there wouldn't be a problem.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are no rights - unless the police say so

    Must take issue with some of the 1st paragraph


    Despite fine words from high-ranking police officers, an unpleasant incident in Romford last week suggests that officers on the ground are no nearer understanding or respecting photographers’ rights.


    This incident more accurately suggests that the police have a total disregard for the rule of law and an unrepentant disrespect for society and its people.

    The never-ending saga with photographers and their "rights" is but a symptom that the media have latched onto without investigating or understanding the underlying problems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "The never-ending saga with photographers and their "rights" is but a symptom that the media have latched onto without investigating or understanding the underlying problems."

      Underlying problems? What underlying problems can cause an expertly trained (hah!) Policeman to completely ignore the law, and bully the public.

  21. flayman Bronze badge


    I can now confirm that the Met have received at least one complaint about this incident.

  22. Complicated Disaster

    Cut, Cut, Cut

    If the government is going to start cutting police numbers, these officers would seem like a good place to start!

  23. Craig 12

    What else don't they know?

    On any topic other than photography, I'd assume the police know what they're doing. Now I'm thinking, they probably don't...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      dead right

      Go to the top of the class

  24. yuumei


    I'm sorry, did they just call him a terrorist because they couldn't think of a response to his questions? What the hell? They really are just abusing their powers, and what for? Just for laughs and giggles as far as I heard on that video. Or maybe they just need to hit a target of "terrorists investigated" today.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Photographer = Terrorist/Paedo! Welcome to the United States of Fear!

    This sort of mindless behaviour from these numb-skulls makes my blood boil!!

    Now for the sake of argument, supposing I was a member of the Tooting Popular Front or Ali-Admiral Akbar's Doom Squad, would I really traipse about with a big bag of camera kit and a bloody heavy 4kg tripod, spend ages lining up shots, in full view all the CCTV cameras I might add, if I wish to remain inconspicuous? No, probably not. I would assume your average fanatical nutter would like to remain out of sight and keep a low profile, especially if he wish to return the spot at some later date! ( * You seem to know a lot about how terrorists operate? Come 'ere Sonny! * )

    Fed up with being treated like a criminal when all I want is a picture of something different and interesting. Tell you what UK Gov, lets ask all the camera manufacturers and retailers to quit the UK, just so we can be safe from terrorists and paedos eh? Tell you what, let's also get the phones limited to phone calls only, just be safe. No camera phones, they are dangerous too. Let's see who that affects the economy eh?

  26. Jon Press

    And this just before the IPCC ...

    ... issues a stinging criticism of the Met for failing for years to catch a serial sex attacker blaming the fact that:

    "too few resources were allocated to the inquiry and that officers prioritised other crimes".

  27. DaveyDaveDave

    Anyone know of a good 'photographers' rights cheatsheet'?

    I wonder if anyone has seen any kind of a brief document that photographers could carry round and present to these idiots as necessary?

    I'm thinking something simple, with single-syllable words, probably in Comic Sans, so they have no trouble reading it, along the lines of: 'The law says I can: photograph buildings / people / police / etc', citing the relevant legal documentation.

    I'm sure it's more complex than that, but something along those lines, that a photographer could just produce for them to read in answer to 'what do you think you're doing?' would make it far easier to make the point without giving them any cause to start talking about public disorder.

    I'm sure they'd still find something like the tread on your trainers being worn as a reason to nab your camera, but it would surely make it much easier to claim your compensation later...

    If there isn't one already out there, how about the Reg create one? Or even better, persuade the Police themselves to put it together, if they're so confident that their front-line troops have the correct information...?

    1. Simon Neill

      how bout this:

      "Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel."

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism."

        There's the problem, some dipstick plod abuses the use of the word, "reasonably", to mean "I can do what I like as I have 2 years of training and a shiny badge that means if I am bored , I can exceed my authority and no amount of whining from you lot will ever make any difference!"

    2. Giddy Kipper
      Big Brother

      Deja what?


    3. OldBiddie

      Amatuer Photographer Next Issue

      AP are including a lens cloth free with next week's issue with that very information on it.

    4. Lamont Cranston

      Knock yourself out:

    5. Hedley Lamarr
      Thumb Up

      Lens cloth with all info on it...

      Here you go:

    6. Springer

      Here is a great resource for Photographers

      Lots of great information on what your rights are.

    7. Subban

      This is what you want.

      Of course you may want to contact the original publisher to obtain permission to reproduce it, and pop it in your camera bag, thats where mine is just waiting to be produced in a polite and respectable manner to whatever jobsworth halfwit necessitates its use.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for a new law

    Along the lines of Godwin's law- when discussing/arguing/whatever with the Plod, or assorted private security guards, miscellaneous do-gooders or spoilsports, the first one to refer to terrorism, health and safety, data protection or paedophilia in support of their point of view loses the argument.

    They may still not do what you want, but you can at least feel better about it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send david cameron an email

    then he has no excuse for not knowing, make your views felt and add a link to story or video.

    Useful link

    it is there so we should use it I rekon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Have used the link.

      You can also write to your local MP via

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Good idea

        I think writing to your MP is a great idea in this instance (despite it usually being a waste of time).

        All it needs is for just one MP to raise the issue in the House and the profile of this event will increase dramatically.

        There's plenty of new blood (young MPs) in the House of Commons after the last election, and I'm sure they're not yet jaded enough to fob off their constituents, so it seems like a great time to really push this issue and get this at least mentioned in the House.

        For anyone who lives in Romford, I'd certainly be getting as many people as possible to contact the your MP (Andrew Rosindell)

  30. Chas

    Know your rights


    Here you go:


  31. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @ Anyone know of a good 'photographers' rights cheatsheet'?

    ps. They ask that you not link directly to the pdf

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm with the coppers on this one

    Too many people think they know their rights, but they usually only pay attention to the parts that affect them. Reading the "photographers rights" leaflet shows that this kid WAS in the wrong and should have moved on. see "Harassment and Invasion of Privacy" and "Obstruction and Public Order". Both relevant in the case of repeatedly taking photos of the coppers, then posting them on youtube.

    After listening to the audio It's quite clear that the Kid photographer was being antagonistic. Unsurprisingly the audio starts after the conversion does, in which all I heard was some know it all twat trying to argue against the fact that he had been asked to move on. He refused and got all shitty about it and started arguing like a whiney bitch.

    Had he just done what the coppers said and moved down the road a bit and continued his photo taking and they then got all funny he may of had a point, but in the end he was just having an argument, harrassing the police officers and the they lost their temper and locked him up for it. A bit harsh you might think but you should really listen to the WAY things are being said not just the actual words. This kid had a serious attitude problem, he was the one that kept saying "why are you detaining me" and they police said they wern't...well if that was his problem then why didn't he just fuck off like most people would have?

    1. mego


      Seriously. Are you a plod yourself I wonder?

      Just to be Mr Obvious, there is a blatant and flagrant abuse of power shown there, asking "what's my offense" being the only "trouble" this kid is giving out. As a citizen you have a right to understand what offense you have committed, and if you are clearly guilty of nothing, why should you comply?

      With the result that they throw the kid down a set of stairs when he hasn't committed any crimes at all.. and you think that's right? Wow.

      By your calculation, if a plod walks up to a pretty girl and orders her to undress in public, she should damn well listen, because "I said so" is good enough? Get real, numbnut.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Mr Bobby

      >>but in the end he was just having an argument, harrassing the police officers and the they lost their temper and locked him up for it<<

      What gives the bobby the right to harass the kid? The kid was clearly breaking no laws, not disturbing the peace, hell it didn't even look like he spat on the floor (disgusting habit, but still not illegal).

      Did the kid walk up to the bobby and start yelling at them? No, they came to him and started spouting crap at him.

      Oh, we're talking about the bobby club, so they have the right to do whatever the feck they want and gods be damned if you have a problem with it. Right, got it.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You what.....

      As a retired police officer I would like to say that you appear to have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      I am absolutely disgusted by the behaviour of all the police officers involved in this clip. True the very start of the incident is not shown but INMHO the kids behaviour was flawless and the officers go way beyond all the training we used to be given.

      I choose my words carefully because I have no idea what must pass for training these days. Keywords used to be Calm, Polite, Firm, Fair and unobtrusive.

      In these circumstances if the officers considered that he had committed an offence why should they not quietly and politely inform him of that fact and the details of the offence and then, without the nonsense shown, as quietly as possible and using minimum force arrest him and remove him to a police station.

      That's how it should be done and how I have done it many times in the past, incuding quite violent criminals.

      It appears that they are totally out of order from what is shown in that clip, the young man was insistant that they comply with the law but more polite than I would have been in the circumstances whilst they were rude and oppressive and showed a very limited and inaccurate knowledge of the law.

  33. Paul RND*1000

    Wonder which will run out first?

    Public support for a police force which is increasingly busy harassing people who are not breaking the law, while letting real criminals slide (those pesky real criminals are so hard to catch after all)


    The annual Met Police budget, from paying out compensation to the people unlawfully harassed by their jackbooted thugs^W^W officers?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    For once - well done the education system

    What an amazingly confident and well informed 16-year old. We are so used to teenagers, especially boys, being portrayed as lazy and useless. This just goes to show that there are some excellent people coming out of the education system. I wonder what he wants to do as a career - defence lawyer, maybe?

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Please record the phone conversations

    When you next ring their phone line to enquire about things, instead of just writing down their responses can you please record the whole thing here for posterity?

    Guessing you may need to mention to the person on the other end of the phone that you're recording it, but so be it. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Use their own tools for that

      They always have an announcement about *them* recording calls. So let them, and then post in a subject access request for the call to the police in question, giving the time, date and whatever else they need to identify the call (your phone number, assuming they keep incoming caller IDs on their recorder). You identify yourself, so it's personal data, and it ties up the public access office's time in addition to the operator you actually spoke to.

  36. Gordon861

    V2 Rights Sheet

    The only problem with that 'cheat sheet' is that it's so damn long-winded, you are probably just better off printing out the MET police webpage.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's actually not asking a lot to expect Policemen to have a rudimentary understanding of the law. It's asking even less to expect this when it's been a subject of contention, of media scrutiny, where politicians have clarified the position publicly and where the ACPO and senior police have passed down specific instructions on the subject to avoid these problems.

    So, one has to assume that these particular officers are either incapable of understanding the law and direct instructions in the performance of thier duties, or that they deliberately chose to ignore the relevant laws in thier quest to 'not lose' a situation which they themselves instigated.

    By either measure they are either utterly incompetent or ignorant bullies. Neither has a place on duty in our Police Force. I hear there are going to be some cuts; perhaps these two morons can be let loose before they do any more damage to the Met's reputation.

  38. CT

    Or get Visit London involved?

    they have a "complaints" page at

    where they say "At Visit London we are committed to promoting London as a world class city that provides you with the best possible tourist experience. However we understand that mistakes can happen. If you are unhappy with your experience in London please send us your comments by using this online complaints form."

  39. nsld

    @AC 21:22

    "It's actually not asking a lot to expect Policemen to have a rudimentary understanding of the law"

    With an entry requirement of 5 GCSE's at grade C to join the Police we should be grateful they can tie shoe laces let alone much else.

    If we want a police force that can actually grasp the law (and its clear from the audio that they dont) perhaps the bar needs to be raised to a level commensurate with the needs of the job.

    An Epic fail on the part of the police.

  40. ShaggyDoggy


    Whenever I'm told "this call may be recorded for security and training purposes" I always myself say at the start "this call may be recorded for security and training purposes" that tends to trip them up a bit (you don't actually have to record it, hence the "may")

    1. Jane Fae

      Organisational sensitivity

      Personally, i find that whenever organisations spot that you are actually noting down what is being said, there is an odds-on chance the call will then terminate.

      That is what happened with the police on the night: i phoned the call centre to ask about the law. I listened. I tapped notes into my keypad as he talked.

      At some point, he went: "wait a moment" (or words to that effect): "what's going on. you're not taking notes are you. I'm terminating this call".

      And he did.

      Silly boy!

      In a way, this seems to be little more than an extension of the problem that police have with photography generally. Tis absolutely rigueur, in fact...for them to photograph all and sundry as they attend demos. Its absolutely not OK, according to some police officers, for the public to photograph them.

  41. Rogerborg

    Bass Ackwards

    "The law says I can: photograph buildings / people / police / etc', citing the relevant legal documentation."

    Laws prohibit behaviour. The onus is on them to show that such a law exists, not on you to find one that allows you to photograph.

    If you want to carry anything, then press clippings of the (many) incidents where people have been compensated for these unlawful arrests would be a good start, and a "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist" t-shirt or hi-vis vest is always a laugh.

    Best one I've seen though is the "Freedom Warden" hi-vis and peaked cap costume. If the State can dress up citizen-vigilantes in silly costumes, we can do so as well.

  42. micronaut


    another example of the state sponsored terrorism that is the police.

  43. ShaggyDoggy

    Child protection

    It may have escaped your notice, but at 16 years old, Jules Mattson is in the eyes of the law a CHILD.

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