News

Photography Law Clarity

City of London Police have issued guidance to remind personnel to be wary of displaying behaviour “that people may find intimidating or aggressive” when dealing with photographers who they feel might be suspicious.
“The vast majority of people taking photographs are doing so for entirely innocent purposes, and the fact that someone is taking photographs does not in itself indicate hostile reconnaissance or other suspicious behaviour.”
The advice continued: “be aware of the impact your actions have on members of the public and avoid behaviour that people may find intimidating or aggressive.”
The words of wisdom come as a number of high-profile incidents of photographers being incorrectly asked to stop filming from public property have made it into the public domain.
The advice is as follows:-
If a photographer is standing in a public place, photographing or filming a private building, you have no right to prevent them from taking photographs. People do not need a permit to film or photograph from public places. This includes where a person is standing in a public place but photographing or filming private property.
If a photographer is standing on private property, they may take photographs unless such activity is expressly prohibited by the landlord or requires a permit which has not been sought or granted. In this instance, you may inform the individual of this and politely request that they cease taking photographs. You can request that the person leaves the premises and may use reasonable force if necessary to effect this.
cannot delete images,or  require them to be deleted, demand to see images or seize cameras, nor can you obstruct individuals from taking photographs.”
You are still encouraged to be mindful of suspicious activity and that such behaviour should be resolved either by reporting the incident to police without delay, or through polite questioning.
You can ask a suspicious person to account for their actions but powers of stop, examination and seizure under Section 43 of the Terrorist Act 2000 only apply to police.
Furthermore, you don't have the power to detain a person for suspicious behaviour, even if the police have been called.