Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 22 August 2008

Police State Britain - attempts at illegal intimidation

Here is a startling example of two Metropolitan Police Officers (perhaps they were 'Community Police', but their yellow hi-vi jackets bear the logo of the Met) attempting to inditimidate a member of the public into stopping him making a video recording in the street. There is no law in Britain which forbids the taking of still or moving pictures in any public place by anyone who cares to. The situation is quite different when one is in what is deemed to be 'private property', but a public thoroughfare does not fall into this category. At the beginning you will see one of the police officers (the one who speaks the most, the other one remains alsmost silent throughout the whole encounter) attempt physically to stop the filming and when challenged why he has 'assaulted' the camera-holder reels off a string of meaningless verbiage. At one one, later in the account, when again challencged to justify why he is attempting to stop the filming and under which law, he responds "Shut Up!". He suggests, bizarrely, at one point that the filming is 'suspicious' because the person doing the filming is not a tourist, implying that for a tourist to do it would not be 'suspicious'.

When it became quite clear the two policemen weren't going to be able to intimidate the person into stopping filming, they walked away. Surely the police, of all people, should know the law and what they may or may not do legitimately? No doubt there will be cases when it will be a fine judgement whether an offence is being committed, but this is not one of those cases. It is quite clearly an attempt by the police to take the law into their own hands with no justification whatsoever. See what you think:

It requires a certain amount of courage, and a reasonable understanding of the law, to stand up to authority when challenged. It is necessary sometimes for citizens to make very clear that actions by figures of authority which go beyond lawful limits will not be tolerated.
(thru the devil's kitchen in turn through Tom Paine of The Last Ditch)

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