Is it legal to photograph little scrotes in the street?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by flamingo, Nov 7, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi, have been having a lot of nuisance from little scrotes (12-14 year old) in the area in the last few weeks (throwing eggs at the door, breaking bottles on the drive, opening door and coming into the house, hammering on / throwing stones at doors & windows). After many phone-calls to South Wales Police, a PCSO finally turned up this morning. (He appears to be the only police presence in the village and I only ever see him in daylight, the little brats come out after dark, go figure)

    His first response when I offered to show him photographs of the little swine I took as they were running away from the house a few days ago, was that "It's illegal to photograph children". I told him to f*ck off, they were on a public street and as far as I am aware, it is not illegal to photograph anybody in a public place.

    Can any of the legal eagles in the ARRSE community enlighten me, before he comes back with a search warrant and I'm thrown in the nick for "breaching their yuman roits"

  2. its perfectly legal to photograph anyone or anything in a public place...... the only exceptions I am aware of are those covered under the official secrets act.

    That said, expect to be stopped and questioned if you are down the kiddies playground in a dirty mac taking lots of photos of kids...
  3. It isn't illegal to photograph children, otherwise most people would be offenders, e.g. parents often take pictures of their own kids.

    There has been a tendency over the last few years for those of the thought police mentality to dictate that children should not be photographed. For example, trainee classroom assistants are nowadays not advised to photograph children as part of their training evidence.

    In this instance, you are acting as a witness to likely criminal activity and are therefore not bound by an alleged duty of care ( a teacher for example might be if taking photos. of kids in his class doing the naughty).

    It sounds like this pcso has applied his limited intellect and the 2 hour course he went on about sexual grooming to come to a rather unwarranted conclusion. Please wait for more from a serving plod before proceeding asit is now about 15 years since I retired so am a bit out of date ( as has been pointed out many times :oops: ).
  4. Thanks gents, the impression I had was that it was thought police rather than law of the land, otherwise how are all those CCTV cameras legal!

    Regarding going to the park to photograph other peoples kids, I try every trick possible to avoid going to the park with my own!

    Now, can somebody tell me of a good place to dispose of the bodies when I find the little scrotes in my house again! :twisted:
  5. I believe the above poster Is right, If your child is under a duty of care to someone (ie a teacher) then they need the parents/gaurdians permission to photograph them.

    Out In the public when their being arrseholes It's simply gathering evidence!

    (I'm In no way legally qualified, I'm going off what my daughters nursery have told me as we had to sign something saying It's alright for them to photograph her)
  6. just to add:

    whilst legal you may have problems using it evidentially in a court.....but it could certainly be used as intelligence by the plod.

    There has been growing hysteria and some make-it-up-as-you-go-along policing of photographers recently which, quite frankly, I find annoying and distasteful.
  7. Thanks folks, appreciate it!
  8. Give the Information Commissioners Office a ring

    For all general enquires, please contact the ICO customer service team on 08456 306060
  9. Actually just adding to my last,

    It wasn't permission to photograph her, it was permission to display the photographs In the nursery.

    So aye, can't see there being a problem.
  10. From that wikithingy
    Photographing without permission
    In the United States, anything visible ("in plain view") from a public area can be legally photographed. This includes buildings and facilities, people, signage, notices and images. It is not uncommon for security personnel to use intimidation or other tactics to attempt to stop the photographer from photographing their facilities (trying to prevent, e.g., industrial espionage); however, there is no legal precedent to prevent the photographer so long as the image being photographed is in plain view from a public area. [1] The case is basically the same in the UK, however the Home Secretary has stated that the police can "restrict or monitor photography in certain circumstances". [1]
  11. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    As far as I was aware (from things I've picked up here and there, not from any specific training or experience) it's only illegal to publish photographs of people without their consent or some higher authority giving you permission. You can take as many as you want, so long as you're not using them for profit, etc. I believe it's down to copyright laws, and the use of someone else's property (i.e. their image) for your own gain.

    I'd say just go over the road to your neighbour's for a brew (the one directly opposite you), all the lights off, keeping your eye on your own house. When they come around causing trouble, quietly slip out and sneak up behind them. Citizen's arrest when you collar a couple. Don't hurt them, because we all know where the law stands when it comes to "victim vs. offender", and give plod a ring to say you're under attack and they're fighting back. That should bring them rushing around.

    Might help if said neighbour was watching with a video camera, or something.
  12. msr

    msr LE

  13. There's agood site here:, with a lot of good legal advise on exactly this kind of thing.
  14. It's legal to photograph someone, either with stills or by CCTV in a public place. Private individuals have way more scope to do so than businesses / government bodies etc.

    I can GUARANTEE that this is not an issue when it comes to the DPA (Data Protection Act) as I recently had to get clarification from the Data Commissioner regarding CCTV on a clients private dwelling that happened to also see part of the public road.

    If you want to use the images as evidence they have to be time and date stamped and in their original format , unless converted to a standard that the court will accept under the Police And Criminal Evidence act (PACE) with a full audit trail and the originals available. The equipment used to photograph them must also be available for inspection if required and, if serious enough, the recording equipment may be siezed as part of the evidence.

    You can NOT publically publish pictures of minors though, which is probably where the dumb PCSO is getting confused. There is an exemption in the DPA for "the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime"

    BTW, prosecution under the DPA is NOT carried out by the Police it is carried out by the ICO (Information Commissioners Office), so next time the PCSO tells you it's illegal, tell him to arrest you and then watch his little brain melt when he can't figure out what to arrest you for.

    And yes, I'm sure as I do this for a sort of living when I am sober.
  15. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    F*cking tell me about it! This directly affects me in my line of work and the worst offenders regrettably are PCSOs who you'd think would be aware of the bloody law!

    Take a look at this for example: Another example of a PCSO who has no idea of the law.