August 23rd, 2008

Smile for the Camera

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Oh dear, PCSO Bloggs won’t be pleased. Another opportunity – if one were required – to slag off PCSOs again.

The headline read “Photographing thugs is assault” & referred to the story of a resident in London plagued by anti-social behaviour from teenagers at a local school. The headmaster had advised him to identify the offenders so the school could take some action.

David Green went out to photograph the youths, one of whom promptly threatened to kill him while another phoned the police on his mobile.

The report claims that a PCSO arrived & warned Mr Green that taking photos of youths without their permission was illegal & could lead to a charge of assault.

I have no idea whether this was actually what the PCSO said & neither, it appears, does the Metropolitan Police who told the newspaper that they had no record of the incident.

If it is true I’m not sure where the PCSO got their information from; there is nothing illegal in taking photos of people without their permission. If to do so could lead to a charge of assault then I’ll be at the front of the queue to bring a violence case against my local council who insist on taking my photo every time I go into town.

I’ve mentioned before similar cases of people being given misleading information & warnings in regards to photography in public places. We all make mistakes, fortunately mine don’t appear in large print in the national newspapers.

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  1. Chris says:

    Do you know your blog has been offline/unobtainable for the previous few days? Today, Sunday is the first time it has been connectable.

    August 24th, 2008 at 08:35

  2. PCSO Bloggs says:

    It’s not rocket science is it. Where do they get some of these people from. I caught a colleague tell someone last week that shouting at them would constitute an assault. I had to quickly correct that silly comment.

    August 24th, 2008 at 11:47

  3. Reactively Proactive says:

    Actually PCSO Bloggs, your collegue was correct. An assault is defined as “any act which puts a person in fear of immediate and unlawful violence”. If someone were to try and punch you but missed they may have assaulted you, but there is no offence of battery there. The 2 usually go together but they are in actual fact 2 seperate offences. when charging a s.39 assault the wording includes “assaulted [name] by beating him/her”. There are several other alternative charges for this including criminal attempts Act and POA etc but this is still available.

    August 25th, 2008 at 17:44

  4. Plodnomore says:

    I do believe that Reactively Proactive is oncorrect in that if a person is in a public place then anyone can take that person’s photograph without fear of any legal action. There have been several recent stated cases, one of which concerned a very self-important hollywood star (I could really call him an actor) who took umbrage at a member of the public taking his photograph. Another was that very fine example of calm, reason and stoicism, Naomi Campbell who had her photograph taken in an aeroplane (which was held to be a place where the public had access). If anyone doesn’t want their photograph to be taken, then don’t go out in public. Very soom, we will forget you exist and the world will still keep turning.

    August 26th, 2008 at 20:41

  5. Reactively Proactive says:

    I didn’t mention photographs!? I was talking about the difference between assault and battery!!!

    August 28th, 2008 at 23:58

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