Question regarding PCSOs

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Snapper

Question regarding PCSOs

Post by Snapper » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:48 am

There have been a number of incidents recently regarding the treatment of photographers by PCSOs in various places around the country. These are mostly documented by 'stop and search' forms, so cannot be denied.My own comments are in brackets. The instances (of which I myself have been a victim) range from requests to delete any images taken or hand over film (not a legal request without a regular PC present and a search warrant); statements that photography is illegal in public places (since when?); that you can take photos of buildings but not people (again, since when?); that you have to have a licence to use a camera in a public place (since when - this is Britain, not Nazi Germany).

I am not being antagonistic, but would like the views of PCSOs on these documented occurances. I know one thing - if it happens to me again (last time I hadn't even had time to press the shutter) - then I'll insist on my rights and that a regular PC, search warrant etc are called for.

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r_brotheridge
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Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by r_brotheridge » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:43 pm

We have had this subject crop up on here before, it was quite an interesting one.

http://www.national-pcsos.co.uk/viewtop ... ilit=photo
if you can access that a couple of your questions might be answered.

Snapper

Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by Snapper » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:12 pm

Sorry, but I can't access that link. Shame as it would have no doubt been interesting.

Snapper

Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by Snapper » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:23 pm

OK, I've now registered and read that other thread. It was interesting, especially to see the general view that it is ok to take photos in public ( I knew it was legal, just wanted the 'opposition' viewpoint if you see what I mean).

Obviously from the photographers point of view a bit of common sense and good manners is desirable and would go a long way to defusing a lot of potentially confrontational situations, but there are idiots in all walks of life and my hobby has it's fair share. As far as the reported incidents are concerned it looks to me as if training (as in passing of knowledge) may be better in some areas than others. It will be interesting to see if Austin Mitchel MP gets anywhere with the EDM that he is to table in the commons to clarify this matter for all concerned.

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tim419
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Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by tim419 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:36 am

You're free to take photographs and if directed to do otherwise, just ask for the legal power or Act and Section from which the PC or PCSO believes they derive their power.

Most journos know the score - uptown I've advised certain individuals at events outside the House of Commons that they face arrest for obstruction, after repeatedly ignoring my polite requests not to shove cameras in people's faces. That generally works for the idiots who can't take a hint.

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Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by jimbo » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:30 pm

I'm not 100% sure what powers of seizure PCSOs have nowadays - but I know that PCs would not necessarily need a search warrant to seize your equipent in some circumstances; if you look up Section 19 of Police and Criminal Evidence Act, you'll see that the powers to seize items is quite far ranging.

I'm pretty sure that S.19 PACE doesn't apply to CSOs though
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Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by Headset 57 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:25 am

Unless criminal enquiries or terror related, then NO right to confiscater or delete any pictures, whatsoever. However it doesn't stop you asking to see the pictures to determine for yourself. We get these very day on the railway and airports. Also no right to ask someone to stop filiming you in public ( railway stations are all private property and as long as it's not for commercial gain, selling to the papers or a mag, photoshoot etc, ) then it's not illegal, bearing in mind parents don't like their kids being filmed, especially at swimming pools and parks.

http://www.thecameraclub.co.uk/UKPhotog ... Rights.pdf
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Re: Question regarding PCSOs

Post by Big Brother » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:00 am

As others have said photography in a public place is perfectly legal.

However if I see someone taking pictures of a sensitive area (ie the powerstation) we're under standing orders to stop and question them, 99.99999% of the time it'll be innocent but better safe than sorry. As for taking pictures of kids without permission, I'd argue that this is antisocial behaviour, causing harassment/alarm or distress and will again stop/check anyone I see doing it or if a member of public makes a complaint.
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