Oh look, it’s our friends the undercover coppers! In their amazing undercover family estate once again! Yes, it’s the return of Avon & Somerset constabulary’s shiny unmarked Saab 9-5 stationwagon (registration T766 KCJ), today apparently being used to watch over Wilder Street and Brunswick Street. Information received relating to a daring doughnut heist, perhaps?
I thought they might stay longer, seeing as one of them unpacked his trunk:
Of course, there may not be many more opportunities for further such pictorial mockery of the plod. From 16th February anyone who
(a) elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—
(i) a member of Her Majesty’s forces,
(ii) a member of any of the intelligence services, or
(iii) a constable,
which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or
(b) publishes or communicates any such information…
…will risk being accused of committing an offence under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.
A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine.
The law is expected to increase the anti-terrorism powers used today by police officers to stop photographers, including press photographers, from taking pictures in public places. ‘Who is to say that police officers won’t abuse these powers,’ asks freelance photographer Justin Tallis, who was threatened by an officer last week.
Tallis, a London-based photographer, was covering the anti-BBC protest on Saturday 24 January when he was approached by a police officer. Tallis had just taken a picture of the officer, who then asked to see the picture. The photographer refused, arguing that, as a press photographer, he had a right to take pictures of police officers.
According to Tallis, the officer then tried to take the camera away. Before giving up, the officer said that Tallis ‘shouldn’t have taken that photo, you were intimidating me.’ The incident was caught on camera by photojournalist Marc Vallée.
The image above [original picture removed at request of the photographer, Marc Vallée] is of the very incident described in the BJP, with the policeman in the Forward Intelligence Team jacket pulling on the camera cord around Justin Tallis’s neck. Photographer Marc Vallée has blogged in the first person about the incident.
Anti-police state activist group FITwatch has, meanwhile, called for mass resistance to the act, and pledged to continue publishing photographs taken of FIT, EG and other police specialists. To underline this commitment, it has posted up a lovely photograph of Superintendent Steve Pearl, the head of NETCU, a police unit tasked with smearing political activists as terrorists.
- Internet coup! NETCU anti-protest guide hits the public domain
- Police amiability outreach programme spreads across the nation?
- Green scare UK: Observer wages police’s proxy war on eco-activists
- FITwatch blog
- NETCUwatch blog
- Marc Vallée: photojournalist
- Jason N Parkinson: video and print journalist
Edited 9/3/9 to correct the bloody title! :O