One of the largest police organizations in the United Kingdom has joined photographers in protesting a law that could land a person in prison for ten years for photographing a police officer.
The Metropolitan Police Federation this week stated that “poorly-drafted anti-terrorist legislation could be used to justify unwarranted interference in their lawful activities”.
The article, which was posted on the federation’s website this week, states that new legislation regarding photographers needs to be drawn up between the legislative body, police and photographers.
The law, which went into effect this month, is intended to crack down on terrorism but has been left wide open for interpretation.
In typical British humor, the article sardonically wonders how this law would affect the world image of the London Bobby during the upcoming 2012 Olympics.
How, for example, will it be expected to apply in practice to the 2012 Olympics, which will be both a photo-event par excellence and subject to an intense security operation?
Does the law mean tourists are going to be rounded up and arrested en masse for taking suspicious photos of iconic scenes around the capital? That will work wonders for the international reputation of the London Bobby and for the city as a whole as a welcoming destination.