In a couple of days another new law will be imposed, under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008. It covers all sorts but there is a section about gathering information about armed forces personnel, security agents and police officers likely to be useful to terrorists. One would assume this is in response to the thwarted terrorist conspiracy to kidnap and behead a serving Muslim soldier the other year.
Photo journalists who have been mightily peeved in the last couple of years at getting stopped all the time by police are now worried that they are going to be carted off to clink for taking a photograph of her majesties finest. There is a defence written in, if you can show your conduct was reasonable.
Of course there has been no training and no guidance to the front line. I'm sure most people have seen by now the video of the PCSO in London approaching a film maker and not doing the best stop and account. I can't defend the indefensible and do hope that sensible guidance is forthcoming to avoid unnecessary conflict like this.
It is rather scary however that there is a need for this section of the legislation. I've been threatened by drug dealers and also a crustie type who stated he would hunt me down to my home address over the Internet and shoot me. It amused me no end and we both ended up laughing when he realised how ridiculous he sounded. Getting kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists is a different ball game, I'd be happy if the security services just prevented my demise.
Hostile reconnaissance including photography is conducted by terrorists in pre-planning atrocities. It is a fact - and sensible policing is required, using politeness and tolerance as most people will be totally innocent. I do understand how the journalists get annoyed if they are stopped constantly for doing their job.
Stressedoutcop is still approached for photo opportunities by the public and has perfected a left sided pose to please. Polite requests will still be considered despite this new law.
Unslaveme created the following video - I don't think you'll get 10 years for taking my photo, but a few "might" get arrested if the training isn't right.