webofevil: (Default)
The Metropolitan Police may have apologised to David Hoffmann for arresting him over the poster in his window labelling David Cameron a "wanker", but there's every chance that it will happen again, not because the police are particularly worried about bad language or the reputation of politicians but because, as countless confiscations and arrests across the country have shown, most police officers are convinced that cameras are intrinsically evil and terrifying, and therefore any and all photographs are suspect by definition.

I suspect that this is just the start and we will see the campaign escalate into full-scale raids on newsagents and roadside billboards, with entire families charged with possession of photo albums. In time, only trained police wizards will be allowed to ccnsort with the demonic entities that can create these slavishly faithful graven images, mainly to surveil the population for signs of any illicit camera use, while civilians wishing to insult David Cameron will be forced to make do with crude figurative representations.


webofevil: (Default)
From the Ian Tomlinson inquest:

Questioned by the assistant deputy coroner, Judge Peter Thornton QC, Harwood has accepted that the account of events he put in his notebook two weeks after the protests was incorrect.

These relate to Harwood's explanation of the aftermath of his attempt to arrest a protester for daubing graffiti, when he said he came under attack from hundreds of protesters and was in fear for his life. Video cast doubt over that, and Thornton specifically went through the list.
Harwood: At the time I wrote this, I thought I fell to the floor.
Thornton: Do you now accept that this is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton: That you lost your baton—that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton: That you received a blow to the head—that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton: And that there were violent and dangerous confrontations—that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton: And you were struck by a missile—that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton then asked how Harwood got all this wrong when he wrote the statement on 16 April, more than two weeks after the protests.

Harwood said: "Because at the time that is what I believed happened, from the information I had, that is what I believed happened to me there." [Guardian]
webofevil: (Default)
“Officers and community support officers are reminded that we should not be stopping and searching people for taking photos. Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional, is unacceptable.” [Email sent by ACPO to chief constables, reported in the Independent]
Really? How astonishing and pleasant to be able to mention a positive development in an area where there has been so much abuse, complacency and denial. Now let’s see if baby cops take a blind bit of notice.
webofevil: (Default)
In this short film we’re meant to be appalled at the actions of the authorities in trampling over the camera-wielder’s right to film in public. What has actually happened is that he hasn’t encountered any authority at all; rather, he has run into a couple of community support officers—baby cops—who fancy flexing their muscles but know fuck all about the law or their job. Watch the Chinese guy crumble the moment the cameraman gets angry and makes it clear that he knows the law. If you’re wearing the law enforcement gear but you’re reduced to saying tartly, “You know the law, do you? Well, good for you!”, no-one benefits. Some people might be fooled by your outfit into thinking you’re a real policeman, for one thing, which could, at worst, emperil a life.

On the other hand, it’s becoming standard practice, after a couple of years of babycopping, for PCSOs, even if they wouldn’t have stood a fridge in hell’s chance if they had applied through the usual channels, even if they are truly as hapless as the uninformed uniformed gimp in that clip, to become real police officers. And a real policeman who knew nothing about laws regarding public places but realised he had technically assaulted an innocent pedestrian would know how—and be able—to recover some of his self-respect by confiscating the camera while citing something vague about terrorism, and then arbitrarily slapping them with an £85 fine under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

Evening, all.

December 2015

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