Oi! You! No pictures!


A few months ago, I ran a story on how the UK government was trying to restrict public photography. It seems as if they’re now playing the back-pedalling game in a big kind of way. Once the petition hit 60,000 signatures, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement which can be summarised into ‘uh, no, we never intended these kinds of changes to be made’.

What I really want to know: Do you have any stories of instances where people tried to stop you from taking photos? Leave a comment!

Have you ever been stopped from taking a photo?

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It’s hard to tell if the guy who set up the petition was, in fact, petitioning the wrong people (the government wasn’t imposing restrictions, but private security firms might have been), or if the government have gone ‘whoopsie, a lot of people feel strongly about this, let’s try and save our skins’. Either way, the text of the statement is as follows:

Thank you for signing the petition on the Downing Street website calling for the Prime Minister to stop proposed restrictions on photography in public places.

This petition has already attracted over 60,000 signatures from people who obviously share your concern. Not surprisingly, the idea that the Government might be poised to restrict your ability to take photos has caused some puzzlement and even alarm.

We have therefore decided to respond to this petition before its closing date of August, in order to reassure people.

The Government appreciates that millions of people in this country enjoy photography. So we have checked carefully to see if any Government department was considering any proposal that might possibly lead to the sort of restrictions suggested by this petition. We have been assured this is not the case.

There may be cases where individual schools or other bodies believe it is necessary to have some restrictions on photography, for instance to protect children, but that would be a matter for local decisions.

So… Do you have any stories of when you were prevented from taking a photo by slightly over-zealous security personnel? What happened? What did they say? What did you say? Did you have to stop taking photos?

(Photo © iStockPhoto)

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