The Metropolitan Police has published advice for both amateur and professional photographers intending to take photographs within the capital as well as a summary of the guidance issued to officers regarding photographers.
The guidance makes clear that: “Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.”
It also sets out police rights under the Terrorism Act 2000, including the right to view images and their power “to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism.”
In one of the Met’s strongest statements yet on the issue, the guidance states: “Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58a must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”
Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police.
Publication of the the guidance follows increased concern that officers have been stopping members of the public, including tourists, and the media from taking photos where there is no legitimate concern of terrorism related activity.
View the full guidance [External Link]