A chief police officer has reminded forces across the country that they have no right to stop people taking pictures in public.
The chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ media advisory group, Andy Trotter, told forces that the practice is “unacceptable” and “undermines public confidence” in the police.
He also warned that officers have no power to force photographers to delete images, following reports that police have been using terrorism laws to do so.
Writing in a letter to forces, he said: “We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.
“Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether for the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and it undermines public confidence in the police service.”
Trotter went on to remind forces of the relationship that photographers and police have: “We need to cooperate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.”
This article appears in issue 251 of Media Digest.
Image taken by Flickr user naixn, licenced under Creative Commons.
(Source: Press Gazette)