photography is not a crime


ChrisA

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 09:15
paulgee20 wrote:
I was approached one day whilst sat in the car, (two summer ago), with my Camera rested on the door, I had the Siggy 150-500mm on and was sat taking photo's of Rooks on some grass about 10 yards away. The copper was in an un-marked car without standard uniform on, (unmarked motorway patrol). He pulled up alongside and asked me if I minded telling him what I was doing. I answered quite correctly and said 'No i dont mind you asking'

Not for a moment justifying all the swearing from him.

But if it went exactly the way you recount it, your initial answer was the sort of pedantry that winds people up.

For example,

"Excuse me, do you have the time?"
"Yes thanks"

... is the sort of juvenile reply that would irritate people.

And in your case,

"Excuse me sir, do you mind telling me what you're doing here?"
"Not at all officer, I'm photographing those rooks over there with this camera. I'm not in the way of anything with my car here am I?"

... would probably not have wound him up in the first place.

Not sure why the police seem to be on such hair triggers - they ought to be trained not to rise to the bait and to deal with situations properly and according to the law.

But I'd contend that it's best not to wind them up in the first place.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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judderman62

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 09:24
Think you're kinda missing a point there Chris

Paul was there minding his own business just taking pictures. Why did the policeman ask him what he was doing ? Did he look suspicious ? Did he look like he was doing anything ilegal ?

Camera resting on car door with long lens - I suspect not, also if long lens I should imagine it was obvious to an imbecile what he was doing. WTF was the copper doing/thinking ?

If we don't live in a police state that conversation should never have occurred, copper should have just carried on,on his way.

If we're not doing anything wrong we shouldn't have to explain to anyone what we are doing, what we are thinking about or what we had for breakfast.
- -
Mike

Pentax K5 / Pentax K5 11/ Pentax K200D / Canon Rebel T1 i / Canon 650D / Pentax MX-1 / Fuji XF1 /Fuji X 10 / Canon EOS-M / Canon G10/ Pentax Mz-7 x 2

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 09:33
judderman62 wrote:
Think you're kinda missing a point there Chris

Paul was there minding his own business just taking pictures. Why did the policeman ask him what he was doing ? Did he look suspicious ? Did he look like he was doing anything ilegal ?

Camera resting on car door with long lens - I suspect not, also if long lens I should imagine it was obvious to an imbecile what he was doing. WTF was the copper doing/thinking ?

If we don't live in a police state that conversation should never have occurred, copper should have just carried on,on his way.

If we're not doing anything wrong we shouldn't have to explain to anyone what we are doing, what we are thinking about or what we had for breakfast.

In general, I agree, but we do expect the police to investigate suspicious behaviour. And what may look suspicious to others can be very different from our view, in cases where we already know that we're not doing anything wrong.

From the copper's point of view, all he saw was someone sitting in a car for a period of time. Maybe he thought it was suspicious, for some reason neither Paul nor anyone else except the copper will ever know.

So he came over to check - I don't think that's unreasonable - and maybe Paul was a bit ill-advised to give an answer that though literally correct, was a bit pedantic that could easily have been perceived as lippy.

The copper seems then to have gone well OTT, which is inexcusable, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the initial approach.
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Last Edited by ChrisA on 22/07/2012 - 09:33

dougf8

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 10:10
paulgee20 wrote:
...... said 'No i dont mind you asking'

At this stage he got really stroppy .......

I think the policeman asked relatively politely and you responded by winding him up. I'm all for freedom but (even) I don't feel the need to be awkward to the police. Security guards etc are a different matter.

Also if you know your law you could always conclude the conversation with "if you don't mind me telling you, the law relating to photography is ..... tell me your station and number and I'll arrange for your superiors to get you trained up. (or is that getting a bit to awkward?)
Lurking is shirking.!
Last Edited by dougf8 on 22/07/2012 - 10:25

Frogherder

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 10:25
Quote:
Also if you know your law you could always conclude the conversation with "if you don't mind me telling you, the law relating to photography is ..... tell me your station and number and I'll arrange for your superiors to get you trained up.

And that wouldn't wind him/her up?

regards
Bernard

paulgee20

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 10:31
There was IMHO no winding up by answering him absolutely correctly. If he had said could you please tell me what your doing? Then I would have answered him immediately by saying 'taking photos@

To not 'see' the camera was to say the least not a consideration considering that they are trained in observation. And in a Lay Bye hardly an act of Terrorism. Personally I think he had got out the wrong side of the Bed, but certainly needed some Customer Care training.
K5's (2)both gripped, K10d gripped, Pentax 28-90 f3.5, Sigma 18-250mm, Sigma 150-500mm. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, Sigma 10-20 f.4-5.6.EX DC, Hoya 135 f2.8, Take on 28mm f2.8 Pentax AF360 flash, 2 fill in slaves. 30 metre remote release, Rt angle viewfinder, Giotto NOT 3261B Tripod with Manfrotto 808Rd4 ball head, Manfroto 4861RC2 monopoly, shoulder stock, various filters etc, Panasonic SET HBS HD Video cam, Tamrac Explorer 8x backpack and a sore back.....
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Photography is an index for measuring futility and pride.......

Paul

:wink
http://s743.photobucket.com/home/pg20_photos/index http://www.flickr.com/photos/pg20

Frogherder

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 10:38
I have to admit that my contact with the law has always been benign in all respects, so I have no personal complaints, but I have observed irrational behavour on their part for seemingly minor reasons.

My brushes with the 'wannabe goons' in yellow vests however is another dimension.

regards
Bernard

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 11:30
paulgee20 wrote:
There was IMHO no winding up by answering him absolutely correctly. If he had said could you please tell me what your doing? Then I would have answered him immediately by saying 'taking photos@

Well, this is where we'll have to agree to disagree.

'Correctly' is not the same as 'appropriately', and answering literally, as you did, I'd argue is not necessarily the 'correct' response to an initially polite approach.

I agree that based on your account, he overreacted, and I also agree that such overreactions should not occur, but I still think that your initial reply would be likely to be interpreted as a bit arsey.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Pentaxophile

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 11:46
I've been annoyed by dealings with the police several times:

- The stop and search mentioned previously.

- A similar incident to Paul's where I was questioned by a plain clothes bobby taking pictures near a Police Station. (In my case, just as I do when my picture taking is questioned by quizzical members of the public, I tried to share my photographic interests with him - hoping perhaps it might make him more understanding of photography. And also, trying to create a more pleasant interaction than being snarky and raising his hackles).

- Being breathalysed and generally held up in my journey for no reason other than stopping to ask a Police Officer a question about whether my vehicle was legal to drive after a small 'parking accident' i had just had (if I had been drinking, would I really have approached a Police Officer???!) This resulted in much eye-rolling from me, but I had inadvertently triggered some sort of procedural chain of inquiry!

However I've always been mindful that the Police are not, as we are led to believe, 'Customer Service Providers', but people in whom we place authority in order to preserve law and order and prevent crime. The police are far, far from perfect (Ian Tomlinson???) but in day to day dealings with the police, I've always seen them as just doing their job. If a little officiously for my liking sometimes.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

OldTaffy

Link Posted 22/07/2012 - 12:33
John Kennedy is a London taxi-cab driver who maintains an interesting and often amusing set of photos of street bollards. As a 'cabbie' many of his own photos are taken at night in strange areas. He says that he is often questioned by policemen, but seems to be able to deal with it in a peaceable manner. He also says that most of the City of London police now know him well!

Martin
A few of my photographs in flickr.
Lizars 1910 "Challenge" quarter-plate camera; and some more recent stuff.

Smeggypants

Link Posted 26/07/2012 - 08:34
paulgee20 wrote:
I was approached one day whilst sat in the car, (two summer ago), with my Camera rested on the door, I had the Siggy 150-500mm on and was sat taking photo's of Rooks on some grass about 10 yards away. The copper was in an un-marked car without standard uniform on, (unmarked motorway patrol). He pulled up alongside and asked me if I minded telling him what I was doing. I answered quite correctly and said 'No i dont mind you asking'

At this stage he got really stroppy and started to threaten me with the Terrorism Act and its repurcussions. I replied to him that I had answered his question by telling him that I DID NOT mind him asking, result: - Threatened to arrest me. I told him that if he DID ASK me what I was doing then I would answer, pointing out again that he only ask me If I minded!

He then swore at me and told me to follow him to the station where i would be 'charged' He wouldnt tell me on what charge. At this point I asked him if he was observant? And showed the pics of the Rooks and said did he not notice the large lens on what was obviously a Camera.

I told him that I was not following him and asked for his rank and number, his Duty Sergeants details and the station he worked out of, (this was near Hull). He wanted to know why believe it or not and apart from showing me his ID would not give any other info. At this point I told him I was going to follow him even if it took all his shift and report him for swearing and attempts at false arrest and threatening behavior.

He then said in a very bad temper and I quote 'have a nice day sir' and drove off.

I was in a state, but was not going to let him get the better for nothing more than taking simple photo's.

A Police state, I dont know, but not a good advert for our force. I would certainly never help them out after that.

Good for you!!


Quote:
The copper was in an un-marked car without standard uniform on

He could have been anyone, not even a copper.

I think it's very important to establish the identity of anyone approaching you and asking questions.
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spookydoo

Link Posted 01/08/2012 - 20:13
i had the opposite experience with the police
the other night about 1am i heard a commotion outside my house
i looked out and the police had stopped a black van in a rolling box in
so has anyone would do i grabbed my camera and started firing of shots
then one of the police shouted "oy!!! what you doing are you taking photos ? in a very sarky voice and without thinking i shouted yea ...
back came came the reply well don't get posting them on facebook then which then all the coppers started laughing
i paid for it tho about an hour later a knock on my door ...i thought here we go
opened it and two burly officers standing there ..come on then put the kettle on they had to stay behind until the van was removed
after having a chat with them they told me that they haven't a problem with photographers ..sometimes it comes in handy for them as evidence if there's a crime being committed unless they getting in the way
by the way i did up the photo's to facebook

pics here link
Last Edited by spookydoo on 01/08/2012 - 20:22

Sdeve

Link Posted 03/08/2012 - 21:07
paulgee20 wrote:
I was approached one day whilst sat in the car, (two summer ago), with my Camera rested on the door, I had the Siggy 150-500mm on and was sat taking photo's of Rooks on some grass about 10 yards away. The copper was in an un-marked car without standard uniform on, (unmarked motorway patrol). He pulled up alongside and asked me if I minded telling him what I was doing. I answered quite correctly and said 'No i dont mind you asking'

At this stage he got really stroppy and started to threaten me with the Terrorism Act and its repurcussions. I replied to him that I had answered his question by telling him that I DID NOT mind him asking, result: - Threatened to arrest me. I told him that if he DID ASK me what I was doing then I would answer, pointing out again that he only ask me If I minded!

He then swore at me and told me to follow him to the station where i would be 'charged' He wouldnt tell me on what charge. At this point I asked him if he was observant? And showed the pics of the Rooks and said did he not notice the large lens on what was obviously a Camera.

I told him that I was not following him and asked for his rank and number, his Duty Sergeants details and the station he worked out of, (this was near Hull). He wanted to know why believe it or not and apart from showing me his ID would not give any other info. At this point I told him I was going to follow him even if it took all his shift and report him for swearing and attempts at false arrest and threatening behavior.

He then said in a very bad temper and I quote 'have a nice day sir' and drove off.

I was in a state, but was not going to let him get the better for nothing more than taking simple photo's.

A Police state, I dont know, but not a good advert for our force. I would certainly never help them out after that.

If that person was a police officer then he was magnificently thick, to the point of absurdity. On balance, I would suggest he was a Walter Mitty pretending to be. Such people are about. A real officer might well respond and generally have a moody, but asking you to follow him to a police station where you would be charged is beyond the pale. Really and truly. Nope! Not a bobby is my vote.
Last Edited by the Moderator Team on 04/08/2012 - 07:53

johnriley

Link Posted 04/08/2012 - 07:54
Inappropriate comments removed.
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