17 Jul 2010
Section 44 of the Terrorism Act may be dead, but professional photographers in the UK continue to be harrassed by police officers either ignorant of, or willing to abuse, the law.
A flashmob gathered outside New Scotland Yard on Sunday 4 July to drive home the fact that the passing of s44 doesn't mean that photographers in the UK are free to report without attracting harrassment. (Video above by Paula Geraghty, a freelance photojournalist and videographer.) According to the 'Photographer not a terrorist' group:
Unfortunately there are still a swathe of laws that police use to harass photographers, most notably s43, which is similar to s44 but requires an officer to suspect that you are a terrorist and s76 which makes it illegal to 'elicit information about a police officer' which includes photographing them.
Find out more at: photographernotaterrorist.org
There is some good news: the Home Secretary Theresa May has called for a review of the counter-terrorism laws currently used by the police, and one of the six areas of study will be, "stop and search powers in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the use of terrorism legislation in relation to photography".