Police should stop treating photographers as terrorists


Article published 27th December 2009

 365 of Britain’s most eminent photographers write to Telegraph to ask for a change in anti-terrorist legislation.

“SIR – As professional and amateur photographers, we are deeply concerned about the treatment of those taking pictures in public places. Photographers using equipment larger than a compact camera are frequently stopped and searched under anti-terrorist legislation, which they find humiliating.

We do not believe it likely that real terrorists would bother to set up a tripod or use a heavy single-lens reflex camera, as perfectly satisfactory pictures for their purposes could be taken on a discreet camera phone.

If our photography has an effect on law and order, it is beneficial, as wrongdoers are unlikely to commit crimes in close proximity to someone visibly holding a camera.

Meanwhile, some in the police, especially PCSOs, believe it is illegal to take any pictures of a police officer. This is because of ambiguous legislation, introduced earlier this year, which made it an imprisonable offence to collect "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". Given the existence of Google Street View, we do not believe the legislation should be used against ordinary photographers.

In March, at a meeting with representatives of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) andAmateur Photographer, the Home Office agreed to issue guidelines to police forces spelling out that the law must not be misused against those engaged in legitimate photographic activity. This does not appear to have had the desired effect.

Rather than treat photographers as terrorists, the Government should amend the Anti-Terrorism Act to prevent its misuse and explain to police forces that a hostile attitude towards photographers is unwelcome.”

Rosemary Wilman HonFRPS, Joe Cornish HonFRPS, David Noton, Chris, Harper FBIPP, Antony Barrington-Brown MBE FRPS, Sir Jack Stewart, Clark ARPS, Professor John Hannavy FRPS FBIPP, Dr Ralph Jacobson, Hon FRPS, Simon Stafford ARPS, Dr Barry Senior Hon FRPS, Roger Reynolds HonFRPS, George Dawber HonFBIPP, Barry John Colquhoun FRPS FBIPP, Irene Froy FRPS, Ann Miles FRPS, Paul Deakin FRPS, Alan Lord FRPS, Keith Scott FRPS, Michael Hallett FRPS, Patricia Kreyer ARPS, Michael W Jeffries ARPS, Gianpiero Ferrari ARPS, David Robinson ARPS, John Webber ARPS, Colin Carter ARPS, Aynsley Cooper ARPS ABIPP, Bruce A. A. Gray ARPS, Jim Hartje ARPS, Gerry Coe FRPS FBIPP, Roy E. A. Jones ARPS, Simon Maxwell ARPS LBIPP, Brian Elliot Millar ARPS, Colin Smale ARPS, Dr Neil C Scott ARPS, Mark Dodd LRPS, Michael Booth ARPS, Bob Johnson ARPS, Dr Afzal Ansary FRPS FBIPP, Guy Davies ARPS, Allan Parker ARPS, Duncan Grove ARPS, Peter C. Amsden ARPS ABIPP, James Symington ARPS, Gavin Wright ARPS ABIPP, John Tarby FRPS, Roger Preston ARPS, John Hunt ARPS, Judith Angel LRPS, Alan Angel FRPS, Albert Buntin ARPS, Andrew N. Gagg FRPS, Steve Boyle ARPS, Paula Davies FRPS, David Sidbury ARPS, Peter Paterson ARPS, Jack Bates FRPS, Peter Charnaud ARPS, Len Deeley FRPS, Neil Lamont ARPS, Ron McCombe ARPS, Michael Reed ARPS, Sid Pearce FRPS, Tony Bowall FRPS, Brian Pancott ARPS LBIPP, Colleen Slater ARPS, John Scotten ARPS, Michael Bird ABIPP, Monica Weller ARPS, Rosie Armes FRPS, Michael Hope ARPS, Graham Bowen MBE ARPS, John M Holt ARPS, Ben Micklem ARPS, David K. R. Bewsey FBIPP, Gerry Houldsworth ARPS, Derek Trillo ARPS, Chris Aldred ARPS, Prof Angus Jenkinson ARPS, Sue Macpherson ARPS, Sandy Hawkyard ARPS, Alan Edwards ARPS, Peter Karry ARPS, Mary Clark ARPS, Mervyn Rees FRPS, Dr Harry Adam FRPS, John A Clarke ARPS, Tom Steventon ARPS, Roger Hance FRPS, Anne Sutcliffe FRPS, Michael Peterson FRPS, Sarah Richards ARPS, Margaret Ball ARPS, Malcolm Hide ARPS, Dennis Orchard ARPS ABIPP, Ray Grover ARPS, Mike Pounder ARPS ABIPP, David Taylor ARPS, Ann Smith ARPS, Jane H. Black ARPS, Alan Turner ARPS, Jackie King ABIPP, Ken Simcox ARPS, Martin Erhard ARPS, Peter Baker ARPS ABIPP, Gareth Crocker ARPS, Glyn Edmunds ARPS ABIPP, Mary J L Auckland ARPS, Tony Freeman Hon.FBIPP, Philip Bovey ARPS, Don Bishop ARPS, Gordon Bramham ARPS, Michael Pritchard FRPS, Richard Merritt FRPS, Enda Madden ARPS, Andrea Norrington ARPS, Robert Wade ARPS, Dr Alan Robson FRPS, John Colmer ARPS, Richard M. Heyes ARPS, Mike Peak ARPS, Malcolm Ranieri FRPS, Nick Johnson ARPS, Paul RG Haley ARPS, Mal Burden ARPS, Dr Robert L. C. Cumming ARPS, Ivor Innes ARPS, Algy Kazlauciunas ARPS, Gill Cardy ARPS, Keith Suddaby FRPS, Mike Longhurst FRPS, Nicki Gwynn Jones ARPS, Dave Coates ARPS, Hilary Roberts FRPS, Richard Bingham ARPS, Ian Bateman FRPS, Steve Lawrenson ARPS, Neale Davison ARPS, Brian Steptoe FRPS, Caroline Hyman FRPS, Martin Addison ARPS, Colin Brooks ABIPP, Peter Fry ARPS, John Lawton ARPS, James Palfrey ABIPP, Mike Dales ARPS, Mr Gianni Forte ARPS, Paul White FBIPP, David Sherwill ARPS, Nick House ABIPP, John Evans-Jones ARPS, Gaston F. Alziary ARPS, Howard W. Hilton JP ARPS, Roy Enser ARPS, Pete Taylor ARPS ABIPP, Mike Gibbon ABIPP, Mike Birbeck FRPS, Geoff Helliwell ABIPP, Alan Abercrombie FRPS, Garry Swann FRPS, Peter Basterfield ARPS, Kevin Sansbury ABIPP, James Kerr ABIPP, Graham C Barrett ARPS, Kenneth Beken FRPS, Stuart Wood FBIPP, Jim Moreland FRPS FBIPP, Tony Cobley ABIPP, Alan W. Stewart ABIPP, Mike Reed ARPS, Brian E Swinyard ARPS, David Doyle ABIPP, David Lee LBIPP, Greg Holba LBIPP, Martin Jordan ARPS, John A Henderson ARPS, John Horne ARPS, Bob McEvoy LRPS, Simon Crofts FRPS, Philip Edwards LBIPP, Philip E Gee ARPS ABIPP, Sheila Read FRPS, David S Percy ARPS, Tom Dodd FRPS, Peter Ellis FRPS FBIPP, Paul Sievers ARPS, Christopher Strevens ARPS, John Tween LRPS LBIPP, Tony Ramirez ABIPP, Max Weiner LBIPP LRPS, Jonathan C.K.Webb ARPS, Geoff Matthews ARPS, Chris Bailey FRPS, Gill Shaw ABIPP, Ken Keen FRPS, Dave Hunt ARPS ABIPP, Ruth Hanson ARPS, Alastair O. McGhee ARPS, Tim Collins LBIPP, Brian Beaney FRPS, Tony Smith ARPS, David Cantrille FRPS, Patrick Foster ARPS, Graham Light LBIPP, Caroline Guthrie LRPS LBIPP, Colin Biddle ARPS, Rena Pearl ABIPP, Dr Daniel V. McCaughan FRPS, Tessa Mills FRPS, Peter Brown ARPS, David Spears FRPS, Tony Rowe ARPS, Lionel Squire ARPS, John Gravett ARPS, Andrew Leask ARPS, Martyn O’Kelly ABIPP, John H Shepherd ARPS, Paul Bloomer ARPS, Peter Reid ARPS, Steve Taylor ARPS, Leonard Shipley ARPS, Helen Shipley LRPS, Paul Empson LRPS, Julian Comrie FRPS, Alan Shepherd ARPS, Chris Howes FRPS, Barry Mead FRPS, Richard D. Ostler FBIPP, John Boots ARPS, Robert Gates ARPS, S. T. van der Walt ARPS, John Gray ARPS, Steve Kane FRPS, Rob Thomas ARPS, T M Pepper ARPS, Richard Kemp ARPS, S E Parry ARPS, Chris Roberts HonFRPS, Rod Stowell ARPS, John Baker ARPS FBIPP, Steve Allen FBIPP, Lee Broderick LRPS, Rod Broderick ARPS, Graham Morley ABIPP, Norle Colussi ARPS, Liz Scott ARPS, Shirley Britton ARPS, John Fontana ARPS, Barry Freeman ARPS, Duncan Darbishire ARPS, Malcolm Imhoff FRPS, Desi Fontaine FBIPP, Peter Yeo FRPS, Mike Howell ARPS, Alan Wildsmith-Towle FRPS FBIPP, Mike Cookson ARPS, Cheryl Miller ARPS, Peter Rawson ARPS, Patrick O’Farrell ARPS, David Ewles ABIPP, David Perks ABIPP, M Smith ABIPP, Paul Francis ARPS, Frank Blackwell FRPS, John Morgan ARPS, Graham Brown ABIPP, Paula Pollock LBIPP, David Walsh ARPS, John Miskelly ARPS LBIPP, Harry Hall FRPS, Adrian Davies ARPS FBIPP, Anthony Bugbird ARPS FBIPP, Roger Crocombe LRPS, Malcolm Kitto ARPS, John Kyle ARPS, Frank Ash ARPS, Roger Holman ARPS, Carol Wiles ARPS, Norman Wiles LRPS, Jamie Simpson ARPS, Colin Lyne ARPS, Eric Strange ARPS FBIPP, Ben Pipe, Steve Howdle ABIPP, Stuart Barry ABIPP, Robin Symons ARPS, John Weir ARPS, Sheila Weir ARPS, Harold Neville ARPS, Dr Ben Miflin ARPS, Dr Donald Stewart ARPS, Peter Boorman LRPS LBIPP, Bryan Roberts ARPS, Irene Clarke FRPS, Jonathan Farmer ABIPP, Roger Hoyle FRPS, Penny Anderson ARPS, Stewart Guthrie ABIPP, Professor Terry Gough ARPS, Dr Ian R Smith FRPS ABIPP, Glenys Taylor ARPS, Kirsten Cooke ARPS, Alan Porrett ARPS, Pat Porrett LRPS, Daniel Valla FRPS ABIPP, Michael J Curtis ARPS, Bill Hughes, ARPS, Nigel Richards ARPS, Sam Cornwell ARPS, Mervyn R Pugh ARPS, John Lawton ARPS, Richard Cherry ARPS, David Coffey ARPS, Dominic, Twist ABIPP, Adam Duckworth ABIPP, Anthony Marlow LRPS, Martin Hulbert ARPS, David Lock ARPS, Bob Ward ARPS, Adrian Langdon ARPS, William Long FRPS FBIPP, Anne Minter FRPS, Paul Jay ARPS, John Spence ARPS, Rod Fry ARPS, Paul Lawrence LRPS LBIPP, Philip Joyce ARPS, Jaffer Bhimji LRPS, Helen Ashbourne ARPS, Tom Lloyd ARPS ABIPP, E.W.Armstrong ARPS, Felicity Fulwood ARPS, Mark Hayward ARPS LBIPP, David Healey ARPS, Eric Saul ARPS, Naomi Saul ARPS, David Robinson ARPS, Steve Bright ARPS, Richard Brown FRPS, John Henshall FBIPP, Michael Heal ARPS, David Drury FRPS, Edward Martin FBIPP, Rob Cook FBIPP, Ian Gee FRPS FBIPP, Barry Jackson ARPS, Al Anderson ARPS, Adam Woolfitt, FBIPP, John Leslie LRPS, Peter Tulloch ARPS, Bernard Francis ARPS, Mo Bowman FRPS, Professor Thomas Hanahoe FRPS, Paul Noble ABIPP, Charmaine Alexander ARPS, Tony Cooper ARPS, John A. Collins, ARPS, ABIPP, Bob Curtis, FRPS LBIPP, Jack Rose FRPS, Dave McKay ARPS, Mark Wheeler ABIPP, Mick Snaith LRPS, John Bickerdike ARPS, John Sandell ARPS, Allan Hartley ARPS, Keith Burgoyne ARPS