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Beware of photographing 55 Baker Street, London

ABitParanoidABitParanoid Posts: 4
edited May 2010 in The bottom bracket
I was cycling around London today doing some random site-seeing and photography.

I was stopped by two Police Community Support Officers under the Prevention of Terrorism Act after I took a couple of photos of this building.

Because I was polite and cooperative, I didn't have to give any personal details, which was lucky as I didn't really see why I needed to. Not sure what I'd have done if pressed; probably caved in and given my details.

I've no idea what's in this building, and don't really care, but I now know that it's a potential terrorist target (whatever that means).

Be careful out there.

Posts

  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 3,695
    Baker Street? That's where Sherlock Holmes lived.

    Apparently, they found Watson with a citrus fruit up his bum.

    The Police were totally baffled, so they called Sherlock in to investigate.

    He immediately discovered the cause of the assualt...

    ...and immediately exclaimed, "Lemon entry, my dear Watson!"

    ( Maybe they wanted you as a witness?)
  • bagpusscpbagpusscp Posts: 2,907
    bagpuss
  • jimmcdonnelljimmcdonnell Posts: 328
    There's too much of this anti-photography bullsh!t going on. Here's a very informative website

    http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

    which sets out your rights and what to do if underinformed, overzealous police (or hobby bobbies as in your case) get on your case and abuse the prevention of terrorism act.

    We need to kick back against these fu¢kers politely, firmly and with knowledge of and confidence in our rights.
    Litespeed Tuscany, Hope/Open Pro, Ultegra, pulling an Extrawheel trailer, often as not.

    FCR 4 (I think?)
    Twitter: @jimjmcdonnell
  • Mr_CellophaneMr_Cellophane Posts: 690
    523155BakerStreet_pic1.jpg
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Haven't those noddy plodders heard of Google Streetview ffs?
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Le CommentateurLe Commentateur Posts: 4,099
    Probably a bored security guard in the building saw you and called the police.
  • seemunkeeseemunkee Posts: 206
    City Police still using Terror Act to bother photographers
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/11 ... orism_act/
  • Jimmcdonnell, thanks for that link; I've printed off the Bust Card from that website. and will carry it with me now.

    Unlike many similar encounters, this didn't start with an over-zealous security guard calling the police. The two PCSOs saw me take the photos and came over to question me. They probably even saw me cross to the opposite side of the street, over three lanes of traffic, to get a better perspective. Can't think why anyone wanting photos for nafarious means would take them from further away, but there you go. As people say, there are better photos and details on StreetView, Wikipedia etc.

    My main feeling when this happened was 'This can't be happening to me; it just happens to people who have been provocative or confrontational in some way, not for just snapping any old building from the street'. I must remember to wear my helmet cam even when out as a tourist.
  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    It used to be the case thay only in athoritarian regimes abroad were the goons a bit 'funny' about people taking photgraphs...

    Welcome to Gulag UK, just another day in paradise...
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    It's probably spread across from the US, I was in NY in early 2005 and was taking a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge with a mate in front of it, from the Brooklyn side when all of a sudden some security guard (not even the police) stormed across and demanded to know why we were taking photos of the bridge! Err, because it's a major sight in NY? I mean what did he hope to achieve? There are millions of images of the Brooklyn Bridge all over the world in books, the net etc etc
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • OlliedaOllieda Posts: 1,010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-QV_ZvFP4

    A journalist decided to see how far he could take this by taking photos of the gerkin in London......quite funny how far they take it!

    Theres another video i cant find at the moment where an American tourist films the american embassy in london and gets stopped by a police officer then moments later CO19 rock up!
  • Ollieda, that's an interesting (and pretty funny!) film, and I've seen similar ones (in particular one, if I remember correctly, where a student was filming security cameras for an art project). However I feel, no matter what the guy in the film says, he was being deliberately provocative. Ok, he wasn't breaking the law, and I don't condone the actions of the police, but he didn't help his cause.

    In my case, I told the PCSOs exactly what I'd been doing and quite happily showed them all the photos I'd taken that morning to support my story. Even after that, they still wanted to take my details!
  • stigofthedumpstigofthedump Posts: 331
    I just heard a politician say that the new government are doing away with all of Labour's oppressive legislation, so we can now photograph whatever we like. Hurrah :lol:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    There are certain triggers that officers should be taught to enable them to recognise hostile reconnaisance...
  • zaneszanes Posts: 563
    I just heard a politician say that the new government are doing away with all of Labour's oppressive legislation, so we can now photograph whatever we like. Hurrah :lol:

    When it happens, I'll believe that. Until then it's a copy of the Met's latest press release on photography in my bag..... :?
  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    Were you referring to Mr Clegg's remark about giving citizens back their privacy?

    Well in that case there are a number of NuLab laws that are going to need substantial revision or repealing.
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,674
    NapoleonD wrote:
    There are certain triggers that officers should be taught to enable them to recognise hostile reconnaisance...

    Are they beards and ethnic scarves :lol: Seriously though unless you are photographing specific security features or filming covertly I can't see why there would be any issue. As others have said it is all out there and easily available at no risk thanks to the internet!
  • SoniSoni Posts: 1,217
    NapoleonD wrote:
    There are certain triggers that officers should be taught to enable them to recognise hostile reconnaisance...

    Unfortunately mate you can't teach 'common sense' :lol:
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    Police or Community officers can speak to whomever they please.
    I don't know the significance of this building but theres no law against them talking to you.
    You all seem to have forgotten that someone just tried to blow up Times Square.
    Oh yes, I seem to remember some busses blowing up in London not long ago?
    Wishy washy too left wing civil rights discussion over something as simple as a cop doing his/her job is the kind of attitude which people love to spout out with until one of their own gets hurt.
    Then you all say "Doh,, the police did nothing to protect me..."
  • zaneszanes Posts: 563
    al2098 wrote:
    Police or Community officers can speak to whomever they please.
    I don't know the significance of this building but theres no law against them talking to you.
    You all seem to have forgotten that someone just tried to blow up Times Square.
    Oh yes, I seem to remember some busses blowing up in London not long ago?
    Wishy washy too left wing civil rights discussion over something as simple as a cop doing his/her job is the kind of attitude which people love to spout out with until one of their own gets hurt.
    Then you all say "Doh,, the police did nothing to protect me..."

    "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear", right?
  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    And just how likely is it that on being questioned by one of the yellowjacketed jobsworths any potential terrorist (in fact being 'run' by the security services as a lightning rod and so that they have the occasional one they can let slip through as a continued warning that we must submit our civil rights or suffer) will spill the beans there and then?
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    al2098 wrote:
    Police or Community officers can speak to whomever they please.
    I don't know the significance of this building but theres no law against them talking to you.
    You all seem to have forgotten that someone just tried to blow up Times Square.
    Oh yes, I seem to remember some busses blowing up in London not long ago?
    Wishy washy too left wing civil rights discussion over something as simple as a cop doing his/her job is the kind of attitude which people love to spout out with until one of their own gets hurt.
    Then you all say "Doh,, the police did nothing to protect me..."

    I also have the right to speak to whoever i please.
    Doesn't give me the right to interfere with a member of the general public doing nothing illegal though, does it? :evil:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • rml380zrml380z Posts: 244
    al2098 wrote:
    ...
    You all seem to have forgotten that someone just tried to blow up Times Square.
    Oh yes, I seem to remember some busses blowing up in London not long ago?
    ...

    Yep, and I bet you the bombers are far more likely to have used a tube map, a bus timetable, an A to Z, Google Maps, or StreetView over taking a photo.

    Perhaps we should ban all of them 'just in case', or maybe we should all have to submit a request form justifying each of our journeys before we check a map. Nothing to hide, of course...
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