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Information - Useful Information and photographers rights



Georges

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
I find websites or pieces of information like this quite dangerous for laymen. Because they will draw one simple conclusion : Cops can't keep us from taking pictures. This is over simplified and can get you handcuffed. Nuances get lost, there a things a non-lawyer fed with such a document wouldn't think of.

A few examples :

- It might not be illegal to takes pictures, but in some circumstances, it might be illegal merely standing where you stand.
- It might not be illegal to take pictures, but resisting an unknowing police officer trying to keep you from shooting will get you in trouble.

Your worst enemy is the false belief of being right about legal knowledge.

I've seen more guys cuffed while they were shouting that they knew it all about their own rights than people who'd (seem to) apologize and comply with whatever bullshit they were asked to do (sometimes violating their rights, but most often 100% within legal police powers). The illusion of having the right to do something gives a feeling of injustice when that supposedly existing right is violated. And then, people get angry, feel hurt, and the situation often escalates.

I'm not saying this document is not useful, but don't jump to conclusions and use it wisely! If you're not sure about police action, ask (politely!) and explain that you were under the impression that taking pictures was legal, quoting the document. Either the law enforcement officer will be puzzled (and will show signs that you are more knowledgeable than he is) or he'll be able to explain why you're wrong. In both cases, you'll avoid tensions resulting from a misunderstanding or partial knowledge of the law.

Also, ask yourselves if it is always worth bothering to prove your point. Sometimes, putting your pride aside helps to avoid bigger trouble. Six years of law studies and about ten years of jumping fences and opening manhole covers has taught me to take it easy. Usually, the guys are right, and even when they're wrong, they're under the impression that they're doing the right thing. Correcting them is ok, but mind the way you do it! :)
 

Styru

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#3
Thank you Georges, the letter you refer to was written on behalf of The Association of Chief Police Officers (that covers England, Wales, and NI)

PCWOX has posted it here, having found it on my facebook page, where it is posted for general information.

I certainly would not suggest that knowing your rights, and dropping yourself deeper in sh*t because of blindly shouting about those rights should go hand in hand.

I see from what you say above that you are fairly new to 'jumping fences' so believe me when I say that people like me who have been doing it for 3 decades longer are well aware that there are times when swallowing pride is the best option - there are, however, times when it is not. :thumb
 

Georges

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#4
people like me who have been doing it for 3 decades longer are well aware
The overwhelming majority of urbexers I know have less than 40-something years of experience under their belt. And some of them are prone to strategically poor reactions when under pressure and dealing with the law. My comment is intended for Jedis who aren't yet as wise as Yoda.
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#6
Nobody is saying or implying that you should get into trouble by asserting your rights. That document is gold. Every explorer and photographer should print out out and laminate it, and keep it in their camera bag. They'll probably need to show it to at least half the coppers and PCSOs out there.

Thanks to Styru and PCWOX for posting it here.
 

hazelwelton

28DL Member
28DL Member
#8
Nobody is saying or implying that you should get into trouble by asserting your rights. That document is gold. Every explorer and photographer should print out out and laminate it, and keep it in their camera bag. They'll probably need to show it to at least half the coppers and PCSOs out there.

Thanks to Styru and PCWOX for posting it here.
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