Picturing Britain: Street View, Radio 4
Take a photo, get yourself arrested
Sunday 03 May 2009
The police have been getting jumpy about cameras lately – an Austrian tourist was recently apprehended in London for taking pictures at a bus station. We are all regarded as potential terrorists – which means, of course, that the real terrorists have succeeded in their work.
In Tuesday's edition of the week-long series Picturing Britain, Adil Ray strolled round the capital with Nick Turpin, once of this parish, whose speciality is "street photography": Cartier-Bresson-like, he wanders around looking for the decisive moment. Try telling that to the police, who've given him more than 15 stop-and-search tickets in the past two years.
A few years ago, Turpin was hanging around Liverpool Street Station and snapped a mugger stealing a businessman's phone. His picture helped secure a conviction. Now though, he'd think twice about supplying such evidence. The way he's been treated "doesn't make me feel like being on board with the police", he said.
It looked as if Ray might have a scoop as the pair ambled down The Mall, and a member of the local constabulary walked towards them. "You with the camera and me with the mic – we're both in trouble," he muttered. It would have been the perfect ending for his programme, but the policeman walked straight past them. Still, it could have been worse. At least they weren't baton-charged.
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