Back over at Chichester and I was walking through towards the town from the car park. This route takes you past the Magistrates Courts and quite often you will catch sight of a Solicitor or two outside in deep discussion with their client; many of whom will be chain smoking whilst trying to deal with the obvious stress of their hearing.
Another common sight would be the local police officers either walking over towards the courts or leaving the courts ; whichever the case may be?
But to see three police officers out together walking the beat? Well that is just not a sight I can honestly say I have witnessed very often.
So I grabbed the opportunity and was pleasantly surprised at the way I had managed to attract visual eye contact from all three officers; this to my mind has only served to make my shot tonight infinitely more arresting?
“Did See what I did there?”
Anyway as anyone out there in the blogging world who happens to enjoy the challenges of street photography will no doubt testify; taking photographs of people without their express permission can present it’s share of problems?
It is a fact of life that people out in the public arena can sometimes mis-read your intentions and on the odd occassion challenge you about exactly what it is you are doing.
Much has been written about on this topic and the sensitivities it presents for both amateur and professional photographers alike. However many police officers themselves are made aware of the intricacies surrounding this practice; via ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) of England Wales and Nortern Ireland Communication Advisory Group.
In a copy of a letter headed ‘Guidance for Photographers’ published back in August 2010 reference is made to the fact that in some instances highlighted in the press officers have detained photographers and deleted images from their cameras.
It goes on to say that The Chief Constable and Chair of ACPO Andrew Trotter seeks the support in reminding officers and staff that they should not prevent anyone from taking photographs in public. This applies equally to members of the media and public seeking to record images, who do not need a permit to photograph or film in public places. ACPO guidance is as follows:
* There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public
place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.
* We need to co-operate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their
images help us identify criminals.
* We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police 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.
* Once an image has been recorded, the police have no power to delete or confiscate it without a
Further information is available for guidance on the ACPO website.