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Photographers not allowed to find out where they cannot go!

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Home Office rejects FOI Requests on “no go areas”

The Home Office has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the BJP regarding the disclosure of the list of all areas where police officers are authorised to stop-and-search photographers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The controversial Act of Parliament, put into force in 2001, allows Chief Constables to request authorisation from the Home Secretary to define an area in which any constable in uniform is able to stop and search any person or vehicle for the prevention of acts of terrorism. The authorisation, which can be given orally, must be renewed every 28 days and only covers the areas specified in the Chief Constables’ requests.

Source – Britsh Journal of Photography

Incredible really, they won’t reveal the places where police decide that photography is to be restricted, neither will they reveal how many innocent photographers have been subject to stop and search routines on the grounds that disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or the administration of justice.’  This  Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is becoming very useful as a catch all piece of legislation, and the Home Office view appears to be that if a terrorist knows in advance that they cannot take photographs of the entire City of London then they’ll move on to somewhere else, like Edinburgh Castle or Cardiff railway station.

Chief Constables can in theory declare areas under their control as totally restricted for the purposes of photography whenever and wherever they like, so long as they ask to have the orders renewed every 28 days.

Sometimes I take the view that the UK is becoming a very illiberal place to be under Labour’s anti-terrorism laws which have become extremely effective in removing many of our previously held rights, freedoms, and liberties, but have done little at all to reduce the activities of a dangerous few with comparison to the laws which were already in place.

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Written by curly

June 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm

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  1. […] Photographers not allowed to find out where they cannot go […]

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