March 14, 2008 · 10 comments

in UK Photographers Rights

A Labour MP (Mitchell, Austin) has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons condemning police action against lawful photography in public places.

His EDM reads as such:

That this House is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious ground such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.

Every UK photographer should write to/email their MPs asking them to support the EDM. People with websites and blogs should also link to it there.

Here’s the full story at Amateur Photographer…

Find your MP with just your postcode and email them at this link.


Petro Solle June 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm

It is an issue close to my heart – was forced by police to take out my 35mm film in Paris after taking a photo of a man and his son in a public space.
Good to know my rights in the UK.

Jan T July 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm

When you ask your MP to sign an Early Day Motion, they need to be told the number of it. What is it?

Craig Allen August 5, 2008 at 12:15 am

I am trying to get this spread on Flickr.

Craig Allen August 5, 2008 at 1:58 am

We have started a group on Flickr to encourage photographers to understand their rights[email protected]/

Phil January 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Many thanks for posting this. Lindas excellent guide has helped me stand my ground when confronted with officious jobsworths who because of bad training believe they are in the right.

Can I ask though, the original is dated 2004, has there been an update since?

Steven Nantus December 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Dear ,
Calvary greetings in the name of Oyr Lord Jesus. I will like you to cover my wedding which is coming up on the 10th of January 2009, in England ,please kindly give me your price and availability.

Iulian Alexe April 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

I want to make a trip to the UK and to visit London as a tourist.
Photography is allowed in public places of tourist attractions – Buckingham Palace, Railway station in London and outside and inside the trains. Please explain to me what is allowed and what is restricted in order not to create problems during my trip in the UK. I mention that I am an employee from the press agencies and as photographer. Sincerely

photo retouching April 28, 2009 at 8:06 am

I am really glad to see a page dedcated to the rights of photography in public places. Too many people do not have any ideas about their rights as photographers. I will certainly recommend this site

David A July 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Can anyone help me with this?

If I’m photographing a building from the street and a security guard comes out – what is he entitled to do?

Can he legally stand right in front of the lens to prevent me getting a shot? Can he legally grab the camera? What is the relevant law?

Thanks – security guards can be a hassle for architectural photography!


admin July 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm

You’d be better off directing this comment to the UKPR comments thread

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