Stop & search & photos: Know your rights

Click to follow
The Independent Online

* If police stop and search you, the first thing you should ask is on what grounds they are conducting the search and under what powers.

* Police are able to conduct searches under a number of different pieces of legislation but they usually use either the Public Order Act, the Criminal Justice Act or under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

* Unless you are stopped while driving a car, you do NOT have to give your name or address.

* Police officers are obliged to ask for your given ethnicity. Once again, it is up to you whether you choose to answer or not.

* If police use Section 44 of the Terrorism Act they are entitled to view any images you have taken but they are NOT allowed to delete them. They can only do so with a court order.

* Under Section 58a of the Terrorism Act, police are only allowed to stop a photographer taking pictures of officers if they reasonably suspect the photos are intended to be used in connection with terrorism.

* Whether you are stopped and searched, or merely stopped and accounted for, the police officer should hand you a record of your stop.



Stopped for taking photos

November BBC photographer Jeff Overs stopped and searched while he takes sunset photographs of St Paul's Cathedral.

November Andrew White, 33, is stopped after taking photographs of Christmas lights on his way to work in Brighton. He is asked to give his name and address.

August Police order trainspotter Stephen White to delete images of train carriages taken during a holiday in Wales. CCTV near an oil refinery monitored him taking the pictures and alerted local police. Mr White refused.

July Alex Turner, an amateur photographer, arrested under anti-terrorism laws for taking pictures of two officers as they question him for photographing a fish and chip shop in Kent. Later released without charge.

April Two Austrian tourists told to delete pictures of Walthamstow bus station. Unaware that police have no right to enforce deletion of images without a warrant, they comply.

Comments