take these three typical cases, Australian-born Grant Smith has lived in the capital for more than 25 years, He is an award-winning architectural and construction photographer, but this was a personal project, 'I've been making a study of the Wren churches in the City,' he explains. 'The church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 17th century after being destroyed in the Great Fire', Smith was standing on the corner with his cameras when he was approached by a security guard from the neighbouring Bank of America Merrill Lynch building. 'He asked me for ID,' says Smith, 'I politely explained that I didn't need to provide ID as I was standing in a public place, then another, more senior, security guard came out' Smith was then approached by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) who demanded to know what he was doing, their conversation was cut short by the noisy arrival of blaring police sirens bearing down from the east and west, as Smith watched in astonishment-THREE police cars, lights flashing frenetically, as well as a police riot van containing armed police officers, swerved into view and pulled up to investigate the 'incident' - which consisted of nothing more than a man taking pictures of a church in the capital in broad daylight,
or how about this?
Alex Turner, from Kent, discovered the cost of questioning police authority in the summer, after he was stopped by two men on Chatham High Street while taking a picture of a fish and shop called Mick's Plaice, according to Turner's account the men refused properly to identify themselves, when he continued to question their authority, they summoned uniformed police, He took pictures of the two officers as they approached him - and was then arrested, held handcuffed in a police van for more than 20 minutes, searched, and interviewed by two plain-clothes officers,
and even more bazaar, this case,
two weeks ago, BBC photographer Jeff Overs was standing outside the Tate Modern by the Thames in London, taking pictures of sunset over St Paul's Cathedral, when he was approached by a policewoman and a community support officer who said they were 'stopping people who were taking photographs as a counter-terrorism measure', Overs was asked to give his name, address and date of birth and issued with an anti-terrorism stop-and-search form - this in a place full of people enjoying a classic view of the capital, many of them recording it on their camera or mobile phone, 'I was outraged at such an infringement on my liberty,' says Overs. 'Foreign tourists must think Britain has become a police state.'
residents and tourists alike welcome to the new Britain! just so you know,
these are your rights by law, pity the police in the above cases have not read them!