A photographer who spent his whole life photographing and painting around his home neighbourhood of Elephant and Castle in London was arrested under anti-terror laws and jailed, his DNA and fingerprints taken. He was released after five hours, once his Member of Parliament intervened. Under current policies, his DNA will remain on file forever — though the EU has ordered Britain to cease this practice.
With a studio near the 1960s shopping centre at the heart of this area in south London, he is a familiar figure and is regularly seen snapping and sketching the people and buildings around his home – currently the site of Europe's largest regeneration project. But to the police officers who arrested him last week his photographing of the old HMSO print works close to the local police station posed an unacceptable security risk.
"The car skidded to a halt like something out of Starsky & Hutch and this officer jumped out very dramatically and said 'what are you doing?' I told him I was photographing the building and he said he was going to search me under the Anti-Terrorism Act," he recalled.