Thursday, 15 July 2010

Photographers’ Liberties

Earlier this week, the Home Secretary made a statement in the House of Commons that she intended to review the previous Government’s counter-terrorism legislation. The legislation has been misused on a number of occasions including during the Labour Party conference to stop a heckler and when trying to recoup money lost in Icelandic banks. But locally it had also been used in the arrest of a local photographer as noted previously on this blog HERE. I got the opportunity to ask the Home Secretary about this particular case and the exchange was as follows:

Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford) (Con): Under the previous Government, a photographer from Medway was arrested in Chatham high street under section 44 stop-and-search powers, and he and fellow photographers from Medway will welcome today’s announcement from the Home Secretary. Will she assure the House that any future revision of anti-terror legislation will strike the right balance between protecting the public and safeguarding the rights of individuals?

Mrs May: I am happy to give that assurance to my hon. Friend. She may have noticed that in my statement I specifically said that we would look at the issue of photographers and stop-and-search powers. It is one issue that has been brought home forcibly to me. I have had Constituency cases of people who have been stopped under those powers and been concerned about it, and I have received a number of representations from Members of this House, and indeed of another
place, about those problems.

1 comment:

John M Ward said…

Well done for this!

I followed the Monaxle case and blogged about it, and was also one of those participating in the photographers' meet-up and photo-walk on 15 August 2009.

This issue needs to be resolved, and Theresa May is one of those who are actually able to find a good balance between different needs.

You'd probably never get that under a Labour government because their outlook is so alien to the needs of real people in the world out there; but Ms May, though not perfect, has a good sense of right and wrong.