New terror guidelines on photography
New guidelines on the use of police stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in respect of individuals taking photos in public are to be published this afternoon, according to a spokesman for the National Police Improvements Agency (NPIA).
Meanwhile, the police continue to demonstrate an uncanny knack for own goals and the occasional public relations disaster as individual officers overreact and apply the law on photography inaccurately and possibly unlawfully.
First , some recent stops. At the end of October, 15-year-old schoolboy Fabian Sabbara was stopped by three police community support officers for taking photos of Wimbledon station on his mobile phone. His explanation that he was merely conducting a traffic survey and taking photos as part of his GCSE course work cut no ice.
The PCSOs required him to give his details and sign a form or else, he claimed, they would have arrested him under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act.
His details initially went on to the police stop-and-search database, but were eventually removed after pressure from his parents and media.