Petition against restriction of photography in public places

by jeffarmstrong

The Petition can be found on the “Number 10” website.

More information from the creator.

“On the 16th of February, the Government passed a law (in the Counter Terrorism Act) making it illegal to take a photograph of a police office, military personnel or member of the intelligence services – or a photograph which “may be of use for terrorism”. This definition is vague at best, and open to interpretation by the police – who under Home Secretary guidelines can “restrict photography in public places”. We call for these vague restrictions to be lifted, as they can easily be mis-used by the police.” – Taylor of

Over six hundred people have signed in just a few days. There is a great deal of support behind this amongst professionals and enthusiasts and the general public.

There is a lot of information out there on the matter so i will not get on a soap box. However this is an issue that affects everyone from the press to spectators of the upcoming Olympics (for example).

I just finished reading over the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 (well part relevant to this). I do not claim to be all that legally astute however even I can see great swathes of ambiguity and interpretation. This is the law, not just a set of guidelines!

While I am 100% for limiting the strategic ability of all threats to the relative peace in which we live and I do understand the responsibility and sacrifice that comes with the freedoms that are our privilege, surely ambiguity in the basic structure of the states decision making tools creates a culture of displaced responsibility in ALL those bodies in which we place our trust to protect us.

I have been asked by security personnel to move on while taking photos on public grounds. I always respectfully acquiesce. I do not want to cause trouble for some poor guy just doing his job. If faced with the situation where I am removed by a member of the services from a situation in which I am in immediate danger I will probably do as I’m told because I trust they are the experts. These are not in question.

Having photographers being placed in a category of high risk ‘suspects’ without reasonable suspicion or due diligence. This situation is inherently wrong.

That’s my two-bob…

Oh, and here’s a photo: