Photography - Your Rights under Section 44

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by Old Timer, 14 Dec 2009.

  1. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    If you are stopped and searched under the auspices of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, the I set out below your rights, courtesy of Liberty who have produced them




    YOUR RIGHTS UNDER SECTION 44



    At the time

    - The police can only give you a pat down, remove outer clothes (eg jacket, hat), search your bags and have you empty your pockets



    Ø You do not have to give your name and address


    Ø You do not have to explain why you are there


    Ø You are not allowed to flee the search, but you are not required to be actively compliant. You are allowed to 'go limp' as passive resistance during the search if you wish not to comply


    Ø There is no permission to collect DNA data during the search


    Ø You do not have to comply with any attempt to photograph or record you


    Ø Women cannot be touched by male police during these searches


    Ø Make notes about the officers searching you - name, number and police force


    Ø Note the time and the events preceding the search


    Ø Note the specific wording used by the police to explain their authority to search you


    Ø Ask the police for the reason that they are searching you. Specifically, are they searching for terrorists or are they simply trying to deter, delay or inconvenience you?



    Afterwards


    Ø Hold on to the Search Record or any other documentation the police give you (or note if you don't receive one)


    Ø Make brief notes about the search while you still remember all the details


    Ø Do not write anything down on the day that you don't want disclosed to the police. Police may search you again and be able to read anything that you have written down


    Ø Please complete and submit Liberty's search monitoring form


    Ø Consider making a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission


    Ø Write to Lord Carlile, the independent monitor of the implementation of anti-terrorism legislation (Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, The House of Lords London SW1A 0AA)


    Ø Consider pressing charges if the officers used unnecessary force during the search




    The Police CANNOT require you to destroy or show them any photograph. To do so they have to obtain a Court Order. They are allowed to seize the camera but they would have to have some VERY good reasons to do so and when challenged in Court would almost certainly be unable to satisfy the Court that the power existed in the case of a photographer.

    They are not allowed to interfere with the camera. or even switch it off. This must only be done by specially trained officers as stipulated by, and in accordance with, Home Office guidelines.
     
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  3. marku51

    marku51 Member

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  4. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    If the police damage your camera in any way or delete/force you to delete any photos, it is classed as criminal damage.
     
  5. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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  6. eos

    eos Member

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    The only addition to this that I can think of is , A PCSO does not have the right to search you unless in the presence of a normal PC in uniform.

    I think there may also be a maximum time that a PCSO can detain you for pending the arrival of a normal Officer.
     
  7. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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  8. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    The Metropolitan Police and Liberty appear to be at odds over whether the Police can or can't view images under S44. Who is right?
     
  9. SouthEastern-465

    SouthEastern-465 Established Member

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    Thanks OT I will use this next time I am stopped :)
     
  10. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    My understanding is that a Section 43 stop entitles them to do so but a Section 44 does not.

    The Section 43 is based upon the clear presumption that you are engaged in terrorist activities such as information or intelligence gathering. The Section 44 gives unlimited powers to stop and search simply for being in a designated area. Unfortunately they will not say what areas are designated, hoiwever I suspect you can judge relatively easily.

    Most photographer searches are conducted under Section 44, which does not allow viewing photos BUT I believe that a Section 44 CAN become a Section 43 IF the Officer then finds something to justify that.

    Its all a bloody mess I am afraid, but it is a good example of how far down the road to a Police State we actually are.

    To quote Niemoller

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Designated areas can and do change depending upon the security state.
     
  11. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    To me, it seems that despite Andy Trotter's words, we are no further forward. Maybe it'll take a change of Government for the legislation to be tightened up so that the powers cannot be so easily abused.

    Ferret
    - now spinning Depeche Mode - I Just Can't Get Enough. Tune!!!
     
  12. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    It would take a very brave Prime Minister and Home Secretary knowing that the Opposition and the Media would hang them out to dry.
     
  13. Waddon

    Waddon Member

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    Does it work the other way round?
     
  14. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Well, the Police are being hung out to dry as it is! A steady drip drip drip of stories in The Guardian is akin to what was done to the MPs with expenses - it's a daily humiliation. It's my guess that if we did get a change of Government and they did amend (note the word *amend*, not *repeal*) the Act to make it clearer, they'd probably receive widespread support!

    And as an illustration of what I mean - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/15/italian-student-police-arrest-filming
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2009
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Their cause is not helped by the "security" staff who whip up a drama. These people, who generally tend to come from the less intellectual part of our Society, revel in what little power they can wield over others and in many cases are the root cause.

    Along comes some Copper with one eye on promotion and the other on a Commendation, who is quite incapable of making a rational decision but rather heads down the route of making a much bigger mountain out of a small molehill.

    Maybe if one or two were formally Cautioned or charged with wasting Police time, then thye maybe a little slower to intefere in matters outside of their actual job description and area of responsibility.

    If a Policeman cannot quickly judge that a person is a train spotter, a railway photographer, or just someone else out taking photos with no ill will then it says much about their abilities, their training, their intellectual capabilities and the lack of any organisational control over them.

    It seems a guy with a camera can command an instant response which can include our equivalent of a para-military SWAT team, yet a fight or an assualt by ne'er do wells might rank a home visit to the victim some weeks later.

    Is such a person fit to be a Policeman ?
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  17. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    :lol: You would hope he's in line for a disciplinary at the very least. It's a disgraceful way to treat a member of the public.
     
  18. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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    That PCSO is an absolute fool, he obviously likes the power he's given as a plastic copper.

    He is condescending and rude and cocky, but accuses the student of being cocky.

    He says at around 5mins "You're a student, which you never mentioned at the start, you're doing an art project, which you never mentioned at the start"
    Hmm, so who never mentioned anything about cycling down a one way street at the start then??

    He laughs at her having an interest in the buildings 'just for fun', but they would represent interest to people studying art, photography, engineering, architecture, it's ridiculous.

    He expects perfect answers despite her not speaking perfect English, wonder how HIS Italian is???
    And the final charge, 'caused harrassment, alarm and distress'. Really, and how?

    This is what we've been dragged in to. I am appalled at this, let alone the fact that she had to spend five hours in a cell and get handcuffed too.

    ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE
     
  19. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Matt, it isn't justice, it's a joke. That PCSO is clearly unfit to wear the uniform. I expect we'll be seeing more of this over the coming weeks as The Guardian clearly have got a bee in their bonnets and are determined to humiliate The Met into submission.
     
  20. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Security men, PCSOs and parking attendants generally tend to come from the lower end of Society, are not particularly intellectual and have much to prove to others as to how big they actually are.

    Given a little power they turn into comical parodies of their heros', who are inevitably normally the principle characters in the more violent "cop and robber /terrosist" films.

    These amazingly are the people that are then given power over the more intellectual and thinking members of Society.

    There is a theory that ultimately Society will regress to its origins over time as those who are less talented dilute the gene pool by virtue of sheer numbers and gain greater influence over our daily lives.

    I think we have already started that process.
     
  21. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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  22. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Ah, but the most telling comment of all is this......

    So I wonder how THAT tallies with S43 and S44 and Hayman's comments ?


    Really ? I think he needs to travel a little more.
     
  23. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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    The more I see, the more I worry. The officers make false demands that they aren't entitled to, but threaten you if you don't acede to their request. I've lived here all my life, how will a foreign student have a clue what they're on about?

    I used to believe in the moxim "If you've done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide", but it's quite apparrent that this approach is what lead us all sleepwalking to disaster.

    It's brought me on to one thought. If the Police make notes at all times while they question or arrest you, are you permitted time to do the same? I'll be carrying a printout of this information from Liberty in my camera bag, and a pad and pen so I can make any notes of the event for a complaint too. I just don't know who the hell they think they are, preying on the big 'terror' suspiscions to frighten everyone in to either complying or thinking it's going to be of some benefit to society.
     
  24. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    They have no right to stop you from making notes. You are particularly advised to make a record of times and names or badge numbers.

    Other facts should not be written until they have departed and you are well clear, as they could re-arrest you and would then be entitled to see what you have written ! ;)
     
  25. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Is it within your rights to walk away if they haven't arrested you?
     
  26. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Technically yes, as a Police Officer only has the power to detain under specified circumstances, HOWEVER, you could end up being arrested for obstructing a Police Officer.

    Passive co-operation followed by a Complaint via a Solicitor and a potential Civil claim if relevant is your best course of action.

    Prior to Nu-Labour, arrest without a Warrant (order from Court) was only available for serious crimes. Power of arrest now exists for anything.
     
  27. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Readers of free RAG the Metro will be able to see an attempt at justification of harassment today. Basically some terrorists were caught filming on the underground with the plan of bombing it. (Wording delibrate as I have now been brainwashed that this is a good thing after reading the article. <D)
     
  28. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Funny how they weren't charged with any terror-related offence though! Looks like a bit of spin to me....
     
  29. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Thank you OT. It seems to me that the proper policemen are being forced into this situation by PCSO's and security guards who probably have to write thir name down on the back of their hand so they don't forget. These people are the real problem, who want to be policemen, so try and appear as if they have the same powers, when in fact they probably need permission to use a pen.
     
  30. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    The whole point about being a Policeman though is that they have the legal right to exercise discretion and judgement in their day to day dealings with the Public and the enforcement of Law.

    One expects a Policeman also to be a little more wordly and capable of reading into a situation. Unfortunately they just go into robot mode and then act like prats.

    No terrorist caught so far has fitted the stereotype of a train spotter or a photographer. I would suggest that a couple of seconds should quickly enable a Policeman to decide if a person was one of the indigenous population going about their lawful business or someone whose intent is to destroy what we stand for.
     
  31. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Certianly being a copper is a job that I would like to enter, but I can assure you - I wouldn't harras photographers!


    My point was that if the PCSO is already dealing with the situation albeit wrongly, it puts the copper in a difficult position as does he undermine the PCSOs responsiblity -which could adversly affect the PCSOs job, or is it easier to use S44 against the photter?

    (Before anyone asks - I do think it is wrong - I just like playing devils advocate :) )
     

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