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photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:37 am
by falkor
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:44 PM on 07th October 2009
Comments (15) A photographer harmlessly snapping a sunset from his window was quizzed by police who feared he may be taking pictures of children.

Two Community Support Officers grilled Malcolm Dike, whose home overlooks a youth centre, over his pictures.

Mr Dike, 58, said he was made to feel like a criminal after a member of the public reported him.

He was standing at the upstairs window of his home in Arle, Cheltenham, trying to capture the view when he was spotted.

[img]http://policecommunitysupportofficer.co ... 33x423.jpg[/img] Malcolm Dike's picture of a sunset landed him in hot water with the police
The following day, two PCSOs arrived at his doorstep and asked what he had been doing..

He said: 'It was absolutely outrageous - I have been taking photos for years and never had any problems before.

'My home overlooks the Oasis Youth Centre and apparently whoever complained was afraid I might have been taking photos of the children.

'That was completely untrue, of course, but the police have no right to come round here asking questions anyway.

'I know my photography law and if I am stood in my own home, I can take pictures freely - it's not easy to take a photo of a sunset and Monday was a particularly good one.'

Gloucestershire police said they were was unable to confirm who had complained about Mr Dike.

A spokeswoman said: 'I can confirm we received a call from a member of the public at 7.15pm on Monday last week saying they were concerned because they had seen a man taking pictures within the vicinity of the youth club.

'We went round to have word with the man and were satisfied his motives were legitimate.'

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:14 am
by Big Brother
falkor wrote:
'I know my photography law and if I am stood in my own home, I can take pictures freely - it's not easy to take a photo of a sunset and Monday was a particularly good one.'

'


That may be so. I take it though that he'll be sticking to the "I know my law" when the local yobs all find out and start pelting his house with stones e.t.c.

I'm a photographer, and I know you don't take photos near youth clubs or play parks. There are too many nervous parents around.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:33 am
by typecastboy
Once again the papers like to mis-represent everything. Of course, what if he had been taking pictures of children, and the police had done nothing. He should have realised that if someone has made a complaint, then we have to investigate it.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:42 am
by porlus
falkor wrote: 'That was completely untrue, of course, but the police have no right to come round here asking questions anyway.
That comment made me chuckle. Ok then I guess the police have no right to question him if they suspect him of shoplifting, speeding etc. Idiot.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:30 pm
by lexi
porlus wrote:
falkor wrote: 'That was completely untrue, of course, but the police have no right to come round here asking questions anyway.
That comment made me chuckle. Ok then I guess the police have no right to question him if they suspect him of shoplifting, speeding etc. Idiot.
Thats exactly what i was going to say!!! What a doofus! :slroll:

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:23 pm
by falkor
01 Dec 2009
Daily Telegraph
Andrew White, 33, from Brighton, East Sussex, had been taking pictures of the festive lights in nearby Burgess Hill on his way to work when two Police Community Support Officers began following him.

The female PCSOs stopped him and asked why he had been taking photos of the lights and whether he was a professional photographer.

Mr White, who works for a financial services firm, was forced to submit personal details to the officers under counter-terrorism laws because officers were concerned he was taking too many photos in a busy area.

“How they can say that someone taking photos of Christmas lights in the street warrants being considered a terrorist threat?" he said. “How many photos is too many? It’s crazy.”

PCSOs are permitted to stop any member of the public they suspect is committing a criminal offence.

Police officers are also permitted to stop someone without reasonable grounds for suspicion that they are engaged in a terrorist activity under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act.


Mr White said "Once they had stopped me they insisted they had to take my details. I had nothing to hide so I provided them but now I’m concerned about where they will end up.

“The money spent on those PCSOs wasting my time and harassing me in the street could have been better spent somewhere else.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The officers were acting in good faith, balancing individual liberty against the need to ensure public safety.”

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:08 pm
by Gforceuk
The pcsos didnt have the powers to demand his name and address as he hadnt committed any offences... insisting he gave details is a bit much and asking if he's a proffesional photographer .. none of their business.

As for the original story.. he should have thought someone would have reported something

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:43 pm
by Big Brother
I agree,sort of. PCs and PCSOs need clear guidance on when it is appropriate and acceptable to stop/check people who are taking photographs and what legislation covers it e.t.c.

We're in a bind, on one hand we've got higher ranking officers telling us to be on the look out for hostile reconnaisance (and for those officers here who work for BTP or officers who have large targets such as power stations or army barracks on their patch this is especially important), and on the other you've got the liklihood that the person you have seen taking photos is just an innocent member of public. We need to be on the look out for suspicious persons who are engaged in hostile reconnaisance. The Germans did it to us during WW2, the Russians did it during the Cold War and now we've got terrorists doing it, so we can't just stop looking for them because of a fear of ending up in the papers.

We need far more instruction from above on what we should be doing it and how we should be doing it.

Where are we supposed to draw the line, because it seems we're damned whatever we do.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:20 pm
by PI & GI
yes i agree, these pcsos were doing it in good faith, we need to remember the security alert that the uk is still in.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:26 pm
by Gforceuk
For godsake... it was xmas tree lights... are we expecting an xmas light terrorist bomb attack?

Just overzealous officers with clearly nothing better to do

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:39 pm
by Big Brother
Gforceuk wrote:For godsake... it was xmas tree lights... are we expecting an xmas light terrorist bomb attack?

Just overzealous officers with clearly nothing better to do


So he said. Those amongst us with a bit of imagination realise that when someone says they're doing something, taking their word for it is just asking for trouble. Especially considering the fact that Johnny Terrorist might also use the tactic of disguising what he's doing.

"excuse me, were you just taking a photo of that restricted military site?" "no officer, i was taking a photo of this blade of grass just in front of it".

"were you taking photos of those young children?" "no, i was convieniently taking a photo of the sunset that was behind them"

Like I said before, there needs to be clear guidance of when we should act and when we shouldn't. Because whatever we do we get criticised from all quarters.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:45 pm
by Gforceuk
Its called common sense.... sadly lacking it seems with some

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:04 am
by typecastboy
Some of my colleagues have stopped people who have been taking photographs in the town centre, just the other day one of my female colleagues stopped someone who was taking pictures of buses. She called a unit down to search him, which they did. The bloke was OK about it, after it was explained that we have to be vigilent when it comes to people taking photographs. He was fully compliant.

I haven't done it myself, but certainly would, better safe than sorry.

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:27 am
by Hysteria
When out with a pc ( which is only when you can actully use sec 44 ) many times along the Southbank it was common practice to stop people who were taking pictures etc still is I belive espesh right oppersite the Houses of Parliment and around Vauxhall it's self those of you who know the area will know why ....


A couple of times we actully stopped people who were actully Job on thier Hols and they had absolutly no probs with being asked a few questions etc . In London I belive it is important PCSO' s and Police to maintain this high level of security and stuff what the likes of the Daily Mail etc says as they would be the first to complain if something happened .

Re: photographer is quizzed by police

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:48 pm
by Big-Si