Britain's no-photographing-cops law: even the cops hate it

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio show As it Happens did a great job covering the new British law that makes it a crime to take a picture of a police officer or a building, where that picture might be useful in "planning an act of terrorism." First, they interviewed Peter Murray, Vice-President of the National Union of Journalists, who, predictably, worries that his members will find themselves with arrest-records as terrorists for violating the law.

But then, they talked to Peter Smyth, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, who also thinks the law is ridiculous — and this is just stupendous. Smyth says that there's no evidence that terrorists use photographs to plan attacks, admits that this is an invitation for scared officers to abuse the law, and says that it will needlessly create conflict with journalists and the public.

The program tried to locate someone — anyone — who supported the law, but no one was forthcoming.

FEB 16, 2009 – As It Happens

MP3 link

My photos from the National Union of Journalists demonstration at New Scotland Yard