Chief Constable Andy Trotter, chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers' Communications Advisory Group (CAG), has written to all chief constables asking them to remind their officers that they have no power to stop photographers taking pictures or to confiscate or delete pictures without a court order.
A copy of Andy Trotter's letter can be found here. It states:
- There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.
- We need to cooperate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.
- We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.
- Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether for the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and it undermines public confidence in the police service.Once an image has been recorded, the police have no power to delete or confiscate it without a court order.
Via the Newspaper Society