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MP's motion backing public photography

An Early Day Motion has been tabled by an MP fighting to protect the rights of photographers.

Former journalist Austin Mitchell, Labour member for Great Grimsby, put forward the motion entitled ‘Photography in Public Areas’, calling for support for snapping away in public. He has so far been backed with 107 signatures.

In it, he calls on the House to “deplore the apparent rise in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers or wardens attempt to stop street photography”.

He adds that “photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal” and urges the “Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers”.

Last year ACPO set out on a nationwide code of conduct for police officers when dealing with press photographers.

The code was an extension of previous guidelines agreed by the Metropolitan Police.

Last week Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, staged a one-man protest outside New Scotland Yard.

He was aiming to highlight what the union says is the failure of police officers to protect media freedoms.

Jeremy also delivered a letter to New Scotland Yard outlining the union’s concerns and a letter from the NUJ Parliamentary Group to the Home Secretary.

Last month a freelance photographer lodged a formal complaint with West Midlands Police about his treatment outside the Labour Party Conference, in Birmingham.


Marc Vallee (03/04/2008 10:18:11)
You can read more on the Scotland Yard Protest here:
It also has a small selection of images from the day from a number of press photographers who attended.

Grant Falvey (03/04/2008 22:37:50)
I am a prees photographer, I was working outside the old bailey last week, you could see I was press and I had Id FROM THE CHIEF POLICE ASSOCIATION but the policeman still had to fill a form out take all my details and radio to control to confirm my ID THEY ALSO PHONED MY NEWSPAPER THE NEXT DAY TO DOUBLE CHECK..madness!!

Peter Marshall (08/04/2008 18:27:16)
Yes I was at the Scotland Yard protest also ( but vital though freedom of the press is, the EDM is actually concerned about the increasing suspicion and interference encountered by amateur photographers working in public places, and the interference they face from police, PCSOs and wardens.
It seeks to encourage “the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art” and I’m entirely in favour of it.