Tuesday, 29 June 2010

I Think We'll Live With 'Unsustainability' If It Leads To Less Of This...

Current police numbers are not "sustainable" in the face of budget cuts, a senior officer will warn later.

President of the Association of Chief Police Officers Sir Hugh Orde will tell a conference it is "misleading in the extreme" to claim otherwise.
Oh, 'misleading', is it, Sir Hugh Ordure?

Well, your officers know a thing or two about being misleading, don't they?
Two police officers stopped a teenage photographer from taking pictures of an Armed Forces Day parade - and then claimed they did not need a law to detain him.

Jules Mattsson, a 16-year-old freelancer from Hackney, east London, was photographing police cadets on Saturday when he was ordered to stop and give his personal details by an adult cadet officer who claimed he needed parental permission to capture images of the cadets.
Sadly for the uniformed bullies, this was one photographer who knew his rights and wasn't about to be cowed into giving them.
The student, who works as a freelance photojournalist in his spare time, decided to record his confrontation on his mobile phone, providing an insight into the legal arguments that the officers were using to justify stopping him from taking photographs.
And surprise surprise! Just as in this infamous video, the officers concerned prioved to be talking out of...well, not their mouths, that's for sure...
After arguing his rights in a series of protracted legal debates with officers, the sixth former says he was pushed down a set of stairs and detained for breaching the peace until the parade passed.
He's now said to be thinking of taking action. I hope he does, because police who behave like this should be drummed out of the force:
The audio recording begins minutes later with an officer initially arguing that it is illegal to take photographs of children. He then claims that it is illegal to take images of army members and police officers.

Under laws that guarantee the freedom of press in Britain, there is no restriction on photography of children, police or armed forces in a public space.
Indeed, the dim, lying little bullies will be in hot water with a bit of luck, because they've been told time and time again that this is not to be done - it's already cost them money:
The incident in Romford came just 24 hours after the force was forced to pay compensation to two photojournalists for a similar incident. Marc Vallee and Jason Parkinson took civil action against the Met after they had their camera equipment grabbed by officers in December 2008 while reporting on a protest outside the Greek Embassy.

In a public apology the Met admitted that its officers had “failed to respect press freedom” of the two journalists and agreed to pay them each £3,500 plus legal costs.
So let's hope this chap presses his case and gets treble that.

Maybe then, they'll get the message...

11 comments:

Roger Thornhill said...

Sod "press freedom", this is personal freedom!

ranter said...

I do not understand why this behaviour is continuing after statements from ACPO and Senior Met officers (Yates of The Yard). Either we the public are being told one thing and the officers another or the officers are just too thick. Can you imagine what the situation will be like if proper police training is fianlly abolished? I dread to think. There's also a generation of officers who have no experience of the most powerful tool constable's traditionally used....DISCRETION! Removed because of the target culture, supported by ACPO.

Steve T said...

Sounds like a possible money earner, perhaps we should all be taking pictures of the police in public places.

Furor Teutonicus said...

The copper needs disciplining.

1) He did not know the law.
2) after the second refusal, there should have been NO further argument. "In the van, you're fekin NICKED laddie"

"Behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace" (Which he EVENTUALLY decided on), "Obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty", "Suspicion of theft of the camera", "suspicion of drugs".

There are LOADS of things he could have done.

SIMPLE!

SACK the prat! If he does not know his job by now, whet the HEL is he doing in "charge" of police cadets?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Follow ups.

Jim said...

I think Steve T has got it. We should all be provoking these reations whenever we see a policeman in a public place. Start taking photos. If they take any action, sue. And win. The ambulance chasing lawyers will be only too happy to take on the cases if there's some precident.A few hundred cases and the penny might finally drop.

MTG said...

Bullying aside, the other problems of police laziness, corruption and bigotry are no less mammoth.

It says everything of police intelligence to wait for an inevitable cull with hands in pockets whilst public support reached its nadir.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

All very well and I completely agree with you, but we must not surrender to a salami-slicing exercise here; it's not a matter of "the press", it's matter of everyone's freedom to photograph these bastards.

Otherwise, before we see it coming, it'll be legal for "the press" but illegal for the rest of us, and then they'll start leaning on the press to toe the line, not rock the boat, not be provocative, you know the kind of thing.

Even the thinnest end of this wedge needs to kept well away; the British Police have a terrible record of mission creep on illiberal laws and restrictions.

Jiks said...

My vote on this consistant inconsistancy between what is said and done is a deliberate copy of the Blair playbook. That is repeat bare-faced lies and carry on as you were, in this case attempting to nick people for non-crimes.

If the police would stop Wasting Police Time (which is a real crime IIRC, wonder if a private prosecution could be tried?) maybe they would have resources to do what normal people would view as their actual jobs ...

I resisted turning capslock on for the last bit BTW ... do I get a prize?

blueknight said...

I don't know where this has come from.
In my experience of Policing demos there were always one or two annoying photographers that richly deserved, but did not get, this kind of treatment.
We worked out that they did not really want an Officers picture, they just wanted to annoy the Officer. So we used to stand in shot and pose for them, which annoyed them instead.

JuliaM said...

"I do not understand why this behaviour is continuing after statements from ACPO and Senior Met officers..."

Because there are no consequences on ACPO or the officers, beyond a (minor, for them) payout?

"The copper needs disciplining."

Or sacking.

"...we must not surrender to a salami-slicing exercise here; it's not a matter of "the press", it's matter of everyone's freedom to photograph these bastards."

Agreed.

"If the police would stop Wasting Police Time (which is a real crime IIRC, wonder if a private prosecution could be tried?)..."

Good point, but who'd bring that case?

"We worked out that they did not really want an Officers picture, they just wanted to annoy the Officer. So we used to stand in shot and pose for them, which annoyed them instead."

:D

Perhaps it's come from the target culture?