A passer-by was questioned under terrorism laws for taking a picture of a police car he thought was illegally parked.Well, quite! After all, we need to keep tabs on dangerous criminals who might take photos of police!
David Gates saw the patrol car parked at a bus stop and snapped it on his mobile phone.
But the 42-year-old was spotted by officers, who asked him - under the Terrorism Act 2000 - why he took the photo, claiming it could pose a security threat.
Mr Gates was told his details would be kept for a year after he got trigger-happy in Portsmouth. .
'The two officers could find no closer place to park to the property than in the bus lane,' said Supt Neil Sherrington.Well, Mr Sherrington, whether it is ‘reasonable’ or not is really not your call, is it? You’ll find it very difficult to find someone who agrees that the public can’t take photographs of your officers when it believes they are in the wrong, particularly given the fact you are always trumpeting the efficacy of CCTV cameras monitoring us and whoring yourselves out to TV crews to make thinly-veiled publicity programmes.
'It is reasonable for the officer to have made reference to the act and been suspicious as to why the photograph had been taken.'
He added police were attending a domestic dispute and parking in the spot was not illegal.
Still, at least the incident proved there is one Lib Dem with some common sense:
Mike Hancock, Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, said: 'I don't have a problem with them parking at the bus stop, but I do have a problem with them using this legislation for something trivial like this and keeping it for a year. The whole thing is quite bizarre.'Not really that bizarre, Mr Hancock. You see, some people can’t be trusted with a little bit of authority over others and will abuse it. The key is not to give it to them in the first place…