Useful tools for those who photograph in public - please add other jurisdictions

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Unfortunately, these are US-centric, but well worth the read:

    The American Civil Liberties Union's take on photographers' rights:

    A downloadable pdf flyer on photographers' rights by an attorney:

    The ACLU piece has been more recently updated.

    Cheers, Jock
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  2. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Thanks for posting this, Jock.

    You are absolutely right that these guidelines doesn't apply outside the US - thanks for making that distinction. PetaPixel in particular drives me nuts because they post sweeping generalisations assuming that their entire readership is within the borders of the US :rolleyes:

    Here is a link to the equivalent for England and Wales. If other members have something similar for their own legal jurisdictions, please share them here.
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  3. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Unfortunately the UK equivalent of ACLU, Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties) doesn't take such an interest as ACLU does on this issue.

    Perhaps because the UK lacks any formal written constitution guaranteeing the rights of it's citizens, it's rather easier to say what isn't permitted rather than what is.

    There are plenty of sites which gives you a list of what you have a "right" to do (for example, - but I'm not sure I'm confident that they are sufficiently authoritative to for me to trust completely.

    The other end of the scale are the "lawyers' advice" type sites (e.g. which are pretty clear but really only tell you what you might be nicked for.

    Fortunately, a a few years ago the Commissioner of the Met Police issued an advisory letter to the force making clear how photography and photographers should be treated (i.e. not as a criminal or potentially criminal activity which should be stamped out), and apparently carrying a copy of that might be handy to show any officers interested in one's activities, even from forces other than the Met.

    I suspect many forces will have had a bit of a wake-up in the past year after the case of an officer from the Gloucester force who threatened, harrassed and was generally abusive to an amateur photographer. The photographer filmed the entire incident on his mobile and the officer was suspended and subject to a disciplinary hearing.
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  4. dave6376

    dave6376 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    Perth, Scotland
    Actually it's not the equivalent for "the UK". It's the equivalent for England and Wales. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 does not apply in Scotland and the writ of ACPO does not run in Scotland which has a separate Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland - "ACPOS".

    I'm not aware that police harassment of photographers has been such a major issue in Scotland as in England although it has certainly happened. However it isn't going to assist anyone's case to try to tell a stroppy police officer that they have rights under laws which don't apply in Scotland. Some time ago I suggested to PHNAT that they should produce a Scottish equivalent of the "Bust Card" but so far nothing seems to have happened.
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  5. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Excellent point, Dave. Corrected.
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