Bob Patefield, an English amateur photographer, video-recorded an outrageous Terrorism Act stop-and-search in Accrington town centre last December, where he was stopped by a police community support officer (a kind of junior copper) who told him he was under suspicion of terrorism for taking pictures of the Christmas celebration — Santa Claus, a pipe band, and so on.
Patefield asked if the officer had any "reasonable, articulable suspicion" to justify him giving his details.
She replied: "I believe your behaviour was quite suspicious in the manner in which you were taking photographs in the town centre … I'm suspicious in why you were taking those pictures.
"I'm an officer of the law, and I'm requiring you, because I believe your behaviour to be of a suspicious nature, and of possibly antisocial [nature] … I can take your details just to ascertain that everything is OK."
Patefield and his friend maintained that they did not want to disclose their details. They were stopped a third and final time when returning to their car. This time the officer was accompanied by an acting sergeant. "Under law, fine, we can ask for your details – we've got no powers," he said. "However, due to the fact that we believe you were involved in antisocial behaviour, ie taking photographs … then we do have a power under [the Police Reform Act] to ask for your name and address, and for you to provide it. If you don't, then you may be arrested."
(Thanks, Chris and everyone else who suggested this!)
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