Police info for filming in public

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Chrisbitz
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Police info for filming in public

Post by Chrisbitz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:05 am

Thank goodness, the police have at last issued clear guidelines about people filming in public.

This is really good news, as a number of people have falsely been stopped filming in public for "Prevention of terrorism reasons"

http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm

This has always been of great concern to me, and this makes it quite clear, even for an officious Police Officer to understand! :-)
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

Fingercuff
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Fingercuff » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:25 am

Thanks for posting this useful information. I have had one or two dealings with police whilst on shoots over the years. Even with written permission from the council they have got in the way before so its good to know my rights.

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Mike Shaw » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:55 am

The next 'problem' to overcome is filming one's children/grandchidren on the football pitch or on school sports days or the school shows. The people who throw wobblies can all show photos and/or film of their own childhood - my grandchidren won't be able to do that because 'we don't allow filming or photographs of the children on our sports fileds etc'.

I rarely get angry - but this really winds me up every time.

Fingercuff
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Fingercuff » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:04 am

The media has done a lot of damage. Anyone filming in public is eyed as doing something seedy.

I while back I triggered an armed police response. I had been filming in an enclosed backgarden when a neighbour must have peered through the fence. Quite unbelievably they those that my camera was a gun. The next thing we know, the police closed the road down and a police helicopter hovered over the house.

The officers thought it was quite funny when they realised what had happened but we were freaked out. We never found out which neighbour had called it in. More tax payers money down the drain....

Pqtrick
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Pqtrick » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:51 am

It is refreshing to see a statement like this from the UK’s Metropolitan Police and their interpretation of the rights of those filming in public place. For those who are sane, it suggests just common sense. If anyone was a terrorist, or the like, they would not exactly have a flashing beacon on their head advertising themselves.

Happily, I never experienced that side of the boys in blue other than a couple of gendarmes stopping the traffic for me, while I was filming an event in the town of Roanne a few years ago.

It is the lesser mortals who enrage us, as Mike Shaw states:

‘I rarely get angry - but this really winds me up every time’.

It has happened many of us, when trying to film at some events. Even the most sober souls within our ranks become enraged at some of the illogical reasons put forward to ban filming. Perhaps, just turning up at an organised event ‘off road’ may be asking for trouble. Sometimes the taking of pictures at a school concert by et al, can be a distraction and should be banned on its nuisance value. (Now follows your outrage!)

You can’t film here because of copyright! My retort has been ‘Are you the copyright holder and are you an expert on the subject - because I am’. Then comes the Health and Safety excuse, I add ‘Which aspect of the Health and Safety Legislation 1982 are you concerned about?’ Then insurance and you know the answer to that one.

The filming of children is perceived to be taboo. I did in a recent documentary to highlight a particular cause. Parental consent was pre-requisite and the organisers made the proviso that if anyone objected, not to turn up with their charge when the shooting was taking place.

Agreed, you don’t always get this degree of co-operation!

However, it really is folly to just turn up at an event and expect to film. Do you homework first. In a public place yes, you have to chance your arm and do it. If you are filming an event, it is well advised to get an advantage by talking to the organisers first.

The scenario of school sports days, perhaps it needs an assertive reaction to a head’s dictum of banning video cameras. It is brave to say, but they need challenging, they may consider themselves to be in charge of their roost but under English law, their decision can be tested.

Tell them that you’ll sue, take them to the court of human rights, the council of Europe or the back room of the local boozer if necessary. It is nonsense perhaps, but needs a ‘bit of tongue in cheek’, to meet buffoonery with buffoonery. Take it to the local authority, your MP, the local newspaper, local radio. The head may just back off because they may not want to be proved wrong.

After all, if a group of kids are not secure under the eye of parents and teachers, they are not safe anywhere. Banning video and photography anywhere is nonsense anyway, with the universal use of mobile phones and today’s micro technology.

In these days with everyone knowing their rights, if you are going to film anywhere, you should be more positive and challenge these people and kick up a fuss about it. After all, you have the strength of the Film and Video Institute behind you and how many members’ wives could bake a cake with a space in the middle!

So far, where are I am now living, these impediments to filming do not seem to arise. The members of the club I now belong to, appear to happily film at places in a manner where logic and more commonsense prevails. Bonne chance!

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billyfromConsett
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by billyfromConsett » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:57 am

Excellent post Chris. It should be forwarded to our mag. This is very important stuff for film-makers.

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Stephen
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Stephen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:03 am

Although the above is only a review, the pressure must be kept up.

This might be of use to photographers

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/
Stephen

Film making is not a matter of Life and Death
It's much more important than that.

Chrisbitz
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Chrisbitz » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:35 pm

I'm not really sure what "just a review" means.

It appears to me, to be official clear clarification BY the police TO the police.

how much more clarified and official could it be? :-)

That website sounds fun though, but you have to wonder if they've seen the recent clarification! :-) And if they have, why havne't they mentioned it?
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

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Stephen
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Stephen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:59 pm

yea.... maybe the term "review" was wrong

it is still worth writing to MP's and generating as much publicity as possible ...
the government these days gives 1 and takes back 20....
the recent reports in the press stating 1 in 78 of us are being monitored for trivial things ... and hey, monitoring in the sense of reading our emails, internet activity, mobile phone activity, surveillance etc...
the peeps under the Stasi had more freedom !!! :shock:

but it is good to see the relaxing of the rules though.... trying to fight your corner and applying them will be interesting ....

this northern lad is orf to London again... wonder if I will get stopped and subjected to harassment at Canary Wharf this time?.... I have had 1st hand experience of police community support officers (PCSOs), security guards and general jobsworths failing to respect the rights of photographers going about their lawful business. The thing that really sticks in my throat, at the time I was singled out, I was told by the security geezers that I had a professional camera (Nikon 35mm!) that's why they stopped me.... :?

ahem.... around me were Japanese, Chinese and Americans all snap snapping away, some even taking Video :shock: footage ....... why didn't they pull them?

maybe I should brush up on my German!....

rant over....
Stephen

Film making is not a matter of Life and Death
It's much more important than that.

Chrisbitz
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Chrisbitz » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:10 pm

your best bet then, in London, is to print out the Police's Guidance to Police Officers, and then, if someone stops you who hasn't read it, you can produce your trump card! :-)
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

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Stephen
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Stephen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:31 pm

sounds like a great idea ! 8)




I'll let you know when I get out (heehee)
Stephen

Film making is not a matter of Life and Death
It's much more important than that.

Brian Saberton
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Re: Police info for filming in public

Post by Brian Saberton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:43 pm

Amateur Photographer Magazine has been running a campaign on the harrassment of photographers around the UK and it's worth taking a look at their web-site. There are some real horror stories out there largely based on the galloping paranoia and irrational hysteria that's been generated in the UK, mostly by the media. In June I happened to come across an article in the Yorkshire Post which reported on comments by Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of terror laws which, to quote the article suggested that "Police are carrying out unjustified searches of members of the public to provide "racial balance" to stop and search statistics". Of course it isn't just the police. There have been a lot of problems at railway stations where enthusiasts have been treated very badly by station officials in spite of the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police making it clear that they welcome photographers as extra eyes and ears. It's ironic of course that any time there is an incident (e.g the attempted attack on Glasgow Airport) the police are usually quick off the mark to ask if anyone has any pictures or video of the event to help in their investigations - a clear case of wanting to have it both ways! Re Fingercuffs story I wonder if the neighbours who complained were charged with wasting police time? As to the vexed question of photographing children, in years to come when archivists look back on todays films they will think we were a society without children. It's all very sad.
Brian Saberton

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