Not a crime

Not usually one for getting onto a soapbox and shouting out to the masses, I have come across a campaign that I feel passionate enough about to support.

As any photographer will tell you, taking photographs in public places has become a bit of a dangerous sport in England. The British Journal of Photography makes this statement:

Increasing concerns about terrorism, paedophilia, health and safety, personal privacy and plain old paranoia about pretty much anything Her Majesty’s subjects get up to has resulted in a deep mistrust of photographers.

Police routinely invoke anti-terror legislation to prevent photographers from carrying out their work, and photojournalists are constantly filmed at public gatherings and their details kept on an ever-growing database. Tourists, particularly foreign tourists, are also targeted by police, as was the case with an Austrian father and son recently who made the mistake of photographing a building of an extremely sensitive nature—Walthamstow bus station.
Put simply, Britain has become a no-photo zone, and so if you fail to comply, you may find yourself liable to attack, arrest or harassment. Recognising that Britain is not the only country where such a draconian anti-photographer culture is developing, the British Journal of Photography is beginning an international visual campaign to raise awareness.”

I was taking photographs at an event in a local park and was loudly challenged by a chap who saw me. A male photographer friend was challenged both loudly and aggressively while walking through the park with his camera on his shoulder and the lens cap on!! This is pure nonsense. Everyone who carries a camera or takes photographs in a public place is under suspicion.

Enough is enough, now it’s the turn of the photographers to shout. Why not add your voice to the call?


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