Remixing the London police's anti-photographer terrror posters

Responding to the London Metropolitan Police's new anti-photographer snitch campaign, wherein posters urge Londoners to turn in people who might be taking pictures of CCTV cameras, many people have taken a crack at redesigning the posters to point out the absurdity of them.

Here's one from Flickr's "illegalphotos":

Here's one from Flickr's "Rubin 110":

And here's one that Rob Beschizza sent me:

Have you made one? Link to it in the comments below.

(Thanks, Jake and Rob!)

Update: The posters you folks are posting in the comments are brilliant -- just check out this one, from Lex10.


  1. Was it only 60 or so years ago, when the Nazis were bombing the crap out of London when THIS POSTER appeared in London with a simple message from the King?

    A simple message that, today, has been forgotten by just about everyone?

    It makes one weep.

  2. Awesome. I hope people print these out and put them up so the less-internet-savvy crowd (who are probably less aware of all the recent civil liberties issues) can see them.

  3. Excellent find Chris (#3) I personally have been following that advice. I have yet to be killed by terrorists (or even given a dirty look, although there is this guy across the hall….) so it must work.

    It’s funny that the British can already take credit for defeating a rather nasty bunch of terrorists called the IRA. The government seems to have completely forgotten how they did it.

    This of course would be suicide, but how about following London cops and Greater London Council members around and document their “suspicious” behaviour?

  4. #5: my thoughts exactly. These are clever, but sort of pointless if they aren’t pasted up in the same public spaces as the actual police posters.

  5. I wonder how much it would cost to have one properly installed on the underground

    if we chip in we should get at least one place… and an article in a few papers.

  6. I like this, it’s positive rather than just more internet hand wringing. If you pasted one of these over the original I bet they wouldn’t notice for quite some time. If caught you would of course be hustled off to Room 101 pretty quick.


    a good thought, but I’m nearly 100% sure it wouldn’t get approved for posting.

  8. Thank you for posting it, Cory!

    “These are clever, but sort of pointless if they aren’t pasted up in the same public spaces as the actual police posters.”

    Here is a high-quality PDF of my one (“Fearmongering”) at A4 size:

    It’s not CMYK, but that can be arranged.

  9. #6

    David, the British government didn’t defeat the IRA.

    Besides the inroads to peace the Good Friday agreement achieved, the IRA lost kudos in Northern Ireland for it’s use of punishment beatings, assassinations and for devolving into basically just a very big organised-crime mob (drug dealing, untaxed petrol/diesel/cigarette trafficking, etc).

    Long-story-short, politics won the day and the IRA defeated themselves.

  10. It’s great to see all these remixes.

    I felt so defeated when the original was posted here. I wanted to believe that kind of government fearmongering had no place in liberal democracies. It was really crushing and shocking to be shown I was so wrong.

    Seeing the message subverted is really empowering. It restores my hope.

  11. this is great! Now we have to start a whispering campaign that the police beat someone to death for posting a parody

  12. “Was it only 60 or so years ago, when the Nazis were bombing the crap out of London when THIS POSTER appeared in London with a simple message from the King?

    A simple message that, today, has been forgotten by just about everyone?”

    Luckily you haven’t told us what that message is, so that we can continue to live free and without fear.

  13. Arkizzle(#21): British intelligence began infiltrating the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin in the 1970’s. The British government brokered and signed the Good Friday accords.

    While it is true that the PIRA did loose popular support over the years, I would argue that without the efforts of all departments of British government they would still be a force today.

    In fact small splinter groups such as Real IRA and Continuity IRA still exist. The two groups are estimated to have less than 300 total members.

  14. #29

    “” British intelligence began infiltrating the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin in the 1970’s. “”

    And? They also killed and incarcerated a lot of innocent people in the process, making the stepped-on even more determined to strike out at the UK. The work you mention had nothing to do with the ‘peace’ we have today.

    “” The British government brokered and signed the Good Friday accord “”

    And the Irish government had nothing to do with it?
    Even Bill Clinton had his hand in it, so I’m afraid you don’t get to claim that little victory.

    Terrorism wasn’t defeated, politics won the day.

    And whether or not the PIRA or CIRA still exist, the major arms caches (not all, of course) have been officially decommisioned.

  15. God dammit, where’s Theresa when you want her..

    Can someone please disemvowell this SEXYBLOG shit?

    I mean there were big titties on the blog, just as promised, but..

  16. keep calm and carry on

    You knew what it was anyway, without even clicking the link, didn’t you? Is there a version that says “Have a drink and carry on”?

    Oh. Bucket!!!! I’m so easily amused.

  17. For the record, I’m against the government sowing fear and paranoia. It looks like a blatant attempt to control a populace through implied threats.
    But as a practical matter, does this even ever work? Do citizen tips – thousands of them – ever result in police breakthroughs that couldn’t have been accomplished by officers freed from the burden of running down tens of thousands of citizen tips? A program like this has as its most likely result that the time and effort of highly trained crime prevention professionals will be pointlessly wasted on dead ends. I can just see a cop with his head buried in a haystack of nonsense looking for the needle of truth while terrorists set fire to the rest of teh farm.

  18. To read the Met posters you’d never imagine that there had been a major terrorist campaign waged on the UK mainland post-WWII; that people had ‘just got on with stuff’; that as a nation we weren’t all perpetually terrorised by everything the press tells us we should be scared of.

    Good job the soldiers who died protecting our freedoms can’t see what’s going on – otherwise they’d be wondering why they bothered. . .

  19. Nalsa #16 —

    You’ve got to believe it would be easier for a terrorist scoping out a location to forget the camera and just install a CCTV camera of their own. No one would suspect it and they’d get time-based intel. The first successful op using a private CCTV might get the whole network banned.

  20. my t-shirt read: “I am a free citizen, I am innocent until proven guilty, Now, Fuck Off.”

  21. #35.. oddly if there were a real threat, say from actual imposter mutants or aliens, I’d want a publicly nominated system… peer reviewed of course. It could be massively efficient in police time.

    What the current uk government seem to want is hysteria and had wringing.

  22. Oh please! Don’t stop! I’ve got more laughs from these posters today than in a month! Bravo Everybody!

  23. Am I really the only person who thinks the original/real poster is not that bad?

    See someone acting suspiciously, report it. Seems fairly common sense.

    I don’t see the bit where it says shoot all photographers on sight, denounce your neighbours, or anything remotely comparable to goings-on in North Korea or any other totalitarian fascist state, as comments have suggested.

    I also find it a quite weird for people to call the poster “fearmongering”.

    Fearmongering is based on paranoia and conjecture; it creates and exploits people’s fears for an ulterior motive,

    Conversely this poster campaign:

    1. Refers to a real danger. It seems retarded to even have to say this, but terrorists do plant bombs in London on a pretty regular basis, killing and maiming random, innocent people. It’s weird that none of the comments on this thread so far have countenanced that fact.

    2. Is not creating fear out of nothing – fear already exists from the above mentioned reality. In fact the poster may actually make people feel less fearful, in the knowledge something is being done to prevent further bombings.

    3. I’m probably completely wasting my time trying to convince anyone on this thread that there may not be an ulterior motive, but just imagine; there may not actually be an ulterior motive! They may actually just be trying really hard to think of possible ways to prevent random innocent people getting blown up. Crazy thought isn’t it?

    Yes, fearmongering is bad, but why not “stay calm and carry on” while also using some common sense and taking reasonable precautions. That’s the message I take from the poster.

    Londoners have been told to report unaccompanied baggage for decades and no-one ever called that fascist fearmongering. As bombs being left all over the place in sports bags was a pretty regular occurence, it always seemed like a fairly sensible idea, and it has been effective in preventing people getting killed.

    I also actually like the idea of involving the whole community in taking ownership/responsibility for the safety of the community, rather than giving the government and the police all the control and responsibility.

    It also seems to me a fairly common sense approach compared to say, invading other countries to supposedly prevent terrorism.

    I’m not sure what alternative ideas people on this thread have for preventing terrorist bombings in London. Strangely no-one has mentioned any yet. Let’s hear them.

  24. Takuan, why do you want to live in a society with no prison, no law, no police, no government?

    There are plenty of places like this in the world and I dare you to go and live in one, since you find it so absolutely abominable to cope with the poster. I’d give you about five minutes.

    Do you lock your door at night? Do you lock your car? Wow… why do you want to live in a prison?

    By the way, you are welcome to try to actually engage with the points I made. It would be a lot more interesting than using the tired old “why do you (insert thing person obviously doesn’t want to do)” technique.

    It would be nice to have like, a grown-up discussion, with like, a little bit of nuance on this topic.

    So far all I hear is four legs good two legs baaaaaaaad…

  25. El Leafo,

    You defend the poster because there have been bombings before. Have the bombs been triggered by people taking photographs? How does photography relate to bombs?

    You mention that people have learned to report abandoned packages. Is somebody complaining about that? What does that have to do with taking photographs?

    If I saw someone acting suspiciously, I would report it. I can’t imagine how taking a picture in a public space could be construed as suspicious.

    Your arguments are specious because they address a bunch of fanciful ‘what ifs’ rather than the subject of the post, which is public photography. Specious arguments are the basis of fearmongering.

  26. For those that think this is all a lot concern over nothing, here’s a bit of the transcript of the radio ad for this campaign (from The Register):

    Female Voice over:
    How d’you tell the difference between someone just video-ing a crowded place and someone who’s checking it out for a terrorist attack?

    How can you tell if someone’s buying unusual quantities of stuff for a good reason or if they’re planning to make a bomb?

    What’s the difference between someone just hanging around and someone behaving suspiciously?

    How can you tell if they’re a normal everyday person, or a terrorist?

    Male voice over:
    The answer is, you don’t have to.

    That’s right, the reliable London police will decide whether or not you’re a terrorist.
    Because they’re good at that…

  27. I appreciate the need for caution, but this approach by the police does seem pretty drastic. I am a commercial photographer in London and I would hate to think of anyone having me under suspicion whilst taking pictures across the city.

  28. If all that CCTV footage is freely available, then couldn’t citizens interested in partaking of terrorism just use that, rather than taking their own photos? It would give you a better idea of what the camera can see, after all.

  29. Woah!
    I was a bit late to this party!

    So, anybody seen any parodies in the wild yet?
    Flickr doesn’t turn up anything quickly.

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