Police questioned an amateur photographer under anti-terrorist legislation and later arrested him, claiming pictures he was taking in a Lancashire town were "suspicious" and constituted "antisocial behaviour".This is despite promises last year from senior officers last year that the police would scale down their use of anti-terrorist legislation, such as Section 44 of the act, after a series of high-profile cases in which photographers said they had been harassed by police for taking innocuous images in the street.
As Random Blowe says of this case:
it seems apparent that the photographer was targeted for knowing his rights and choosing to exercise them. Having failed to get what they wanted under one piece of legislation, they simply picked another - as if the law is a armory of weapons against the public that can be dipped into whenever police officers want to get their own way.If you are concerned about this issue you should watch the video of an interview with Pauline Hadaway on the WORLDbytes site. Hadaway is director of the photography gallery Belfast Exposed and author of Policing the Public Gaze, which was published by the Manifesto Club.
In the interview Joe Earle asks Pauline Hadaway to explain more. We learn how in the past subjects were not allowed to gaze upon the king and with the advent of cheap cameras many feared women and the lower orders snapping away. The muddled authoritarianism today she tells us, which restricts our right to look, is born of a more pernicious distrust and impedes our rights as citizens.