British Labour MP Austin Mitchell Proposes Motion Supporting Photographers
Labour MP Austin Mitchell launches photography petition in Parliament news – Amateur Photographer – news, camera reviews, lens reviews, camera equipment guides, photography courses, competitions, photography forums
British MP (Member of Parliment) Austin Mitchell has proposed a motion condemning the British police for harassing photographers and recommending a “code” which would highlight that in the UK photography is not a crime.
“Mitchell stressed that taking pictures in public areas is ‘perfectly legal’ and urged the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to agree on a ‘photography code’ to be used by police officers ‘on the ground’.
Such a code, states the petition, should set out the ‘public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion’. “
It’s nice to see a British law maker supporting this effort, especially in light of the most recent Metropolitan Police propaganda campaign encouraging people to turn in odd looking photographers to the police.
Interestingly enough, Mitchell is a photography enthusiast himself and has a photo gallery up on his own website.
This is Mitchell’s entire motion.
“‘That this house is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which police, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography, and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious grounds such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.'”