Thursday, 10 December 2009

Steve Bell and Photographs

You couldn’t make this up.

The Guardian ran a piece on Tuesday about architectural photographer Grant Smith who was stopped from taking photographs of Christ Church, Spitalfields. Four City of London police vehicles and seven officers were sent to apprehend him. This will be what they mean by “…a proportionate response”

Seven days ago, under the headline Jerome Taylor: I was questioned over my harmless snapshot” The Independent carried a story of another incident, this time on the south bank.

In May two Austrian tourists were stopped while taking photographs of a bus garage in Walthamstow and had their holiday photographs deleted from their cameras.

And there is more. In July Alex Turner, an amateur photographer, was arrested after he took pictures of Mick's Plaice, a fish and chip shop in Chatham. Recently a BBC journalist was stopped and searched by two police community support officers as he took photographs of St Paul's Cathedral. Andrew White was stopped and asked to give his name and address after taking photographs of Christmas lights on his way to work in Brighton.

This could all be quite funny, but sadly it all harms the way the public view the police, and must damage the esteem of the police service.

The brilliant cartoonist Steve Bell has been running a strip all this week on thsi very topic. You can see his four offerings here. Click on the 'next' arrow to see all stories in the sequence: excellent stuff.

My own 'non-terrorist' photo of St Paul's Cathedral taken shortly after midnight on Tuesday

Sir Christopher Wren looks on from his nearby vantage point outside the Guildhall Library.

0100hrs 9th December

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