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Why is it a crime to photograph a Policeman?

Comment 16th July 2010

I have read that the Counter Terrorism Act of 2008 makes it an offence to take a photograph of a Police Officer, punishable by up to ten years jail

If so, I would think that the risks of this law to our freedom outweigh any possible benefit to individual police. (It's the innocent public that always suffer from terrorism after all.) 

 

Why does this matter?

It is an unavoidable truth that some police have been known to misuse their powers on some occasions(eg during demonstrations and other one-to-one situations). A general public right to record public behaviour – including that of the police –  maintains public confidence in the overall fairness of law enforcement activity. 

However well meaning,  this prohibition also takes us uncomfortably close to the creation of a "secret police".  If the wrong Government got control, who knows where it could lead?


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