Last week, the Association of Chief Police Officers issued a stern warning to British police officers to stop using Section 44 to harass photographers, saying, "Photographers should be left alone to get on with what they are doing. If an officer is suspicious of them for some reason they can just go up to them and have a chat with them - use old-fashioned policing skills to be frank - rather than using these powers, which we don't want to over-use at all."
Apparently, the message hasn't been received.
City of London police said its response to Smith had been proportionate. "When questioned by officers, the man declined to give an explanation and he was therefore informed that in light of the concerns of security staff and in the absence of an explanation, he would be searched under the Terrorism Act," said a spokesman. "After the man's bag was searched, he explained he was a freelance photographer taking photos of buildings. Once this explanation was received there was no further action."Police stop church photographer under terrorism powers (Thanks, Yishay!)
(Image: Christ Church Greyfriars, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike photo from Morgaine's photostream)
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I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.