Another week, another exhibition of harassment by the Met. This time, the unfortunate photographer was from the Guardian, and the accusation one of terrorist reconnaissance. This comes after new guidance issued through the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told explicitly that taking photos of public buildings was not normally an excuse to stop and search them.
As usual, the justification given is by quoting Section 44 of the Terrorism Act. Apparently there are “designated areas” within which police are allowed to stop and search anyone without there even being a need to demonstrate suspicion. Unfortunately for the public, who are generally not inclined to acts of terrorism, the presence of these areas is information that is not routinely available to them.
As I said recently, this is utterly and absolutely cracked. The police service, at times of greatest need, asks the public for their help: when the police have earlier behaved so as to harass that public, they should not be surprised when they do not get it.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
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