Miliband on photography
Home Office replies.
I have just received an unexpected letter from South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband (pictured) in response to the furore surrounding recent events when photographers, such as myself, have been subjected to police actions after taking pictures in public places.
He tells me that he has received the following reply from Home Office Minister Tony McNulty MP which re-asserts the current legal situation;
“There is no legal restriction on photography in public places, and there is no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place.
It is for the Chief Constable to ensure that Officers and Police Community Support Officers are acting appropriately with regards to photography in public places, and any queries regarding this should be addressed to the Chief Constable.
However decisions may be made locally to restrict photography, for example to protect children. Any questions on such local decisions should also be addressed to the force concerned.”
It is helpful that this advice is made public and to serve as a reminder to both police and the public about current legislation and the rights of individual photographers. There are no legal restrictions on photography in the South Shields sea front area to protect children, but it is perfectly understandable that there are such local restrictions at our Temple Park Centre, for example.
May I take this opportunity to thank David Miliband for the interest and support that he has shown and remind you that you are able to sign this e-petition on the No. 10 website, and you can also lobby your local MP to support Austin Mitchell’s Early Day motion.
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