London cops mug tourist for his bus-station photos

A Viennese tourist has vowed never to return to London after police officers forced him to delete photos he'd taken of the Vauxhall bus station, saying it was "strictly forbidden" and recording details from his identity papers. There's no evidence that terrorists use photos to plan their attacks, nor that preventing photography reduces the likelihood of a terrorist attack. London's police have been granted sweeping "anti-terrorism" powers, including the authority to arrest people who take pictures of the police.

But the tourists have said they had to return home to Vienna without their holiday pictures after two policemen forced them to delete the photographs from their cameras in the name of preventing terrorism.

Matkza, a 69-year-old retired television cameraman with a taste for modern architecture, was told that photographing anything to do with transport was "strictly forbidden". The policemen also recorded the pair's details, including passport numbers and hotel addresses.

In a letter in today's Guardian, Matzka wrote: "I understand the need for some sensitivity in an era of terrorism, but isn't it naive to think terrorism can be prevented by terrorising tourists?"

The Metropolitan police said it was investigating the allegations.

In a telephone interview from his home in Vienna, Matka said: "I've never had these experiences anywhere, never in the world, not even in Communist countries."

Police delete London tourists' photos 'to prevent terrorism'

(Thanks, Matt!)

(Image: Vauxhall Station, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike photo from Nedrichards' photostream)