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posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 07:23 AM

Police have been accused of misusing powers granted under anti-terror legislation after a series of incidents, ranging from the innocuous to the bizarre, in which photographers were questioned by officers for taking innocent pictures of tourist destinations, landmarks and even a fish and chip shop.

Police are allowed to stop and search anyone in a designated "Section 44 authorisation" zone without having to give a reason. But amateur and professional photographers have complained that they are frequently being stopped and treated as potential terrorists on a reconnaissance mission. Last night the Government's independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws warned police forces to carefully examine how they use the controversial legislation.

Most of those stopped are told they are being questioned under Section 44, a controversial power which allows senior officers to designate entire areas of their police force regions as stop-and-search zones. The areas are chosen based on their likelihood of being a terrorism target.

More than 100 exist in London alone, covering areas such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and other landmarks. Every train station in the UK is covered by a Section 44 order. In the first quarter of this financial year 96 per cent of all Section 44 searches were carried out by the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police. Every area of the UK which has a Section 44 in place is known to the Home Office. But, due to the fear that the information could be used by terrorists to plan attacks, most of the the exact locations covered by Section 44 authorisations are kept secret, meaning members of the public have no idea if they are in one or not.

Its examples like this that worry me. It may not seem like a big deal. But its a law that sneaks under the radar, then it is wrongly enforced, and we the people suffer.

It sounds like something from George Orwelles 1984.

Section 44

Innocuous it may seem, but it has the potential to snowball into something far more serious.


posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 07:40 AM

..And in July Alex Turner, an amateur photographer from Kent, was arrested after he took pictures of Mick's Plaice, a fish and chip shop in Chatham

Arrested for taking photos of a fish and chip shop in Chatham?

You just can't make this stuff up.

I think you're right about George Orwell's 1984 - it seems the 'powers that be' are seeing his book more and more as an instruction manual rather than a dire warning about the potential nightmares of a totalitarian, dystopian police state.


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 07:44 AM
Yup, we've known about this for some time - people kicked up a stink for a while and then were pacified by lies from the government. The real evil kicks in now as Section 44 has almost slipped off the radar, more and more people will fall victim to this law and as it's been in use for a certain amount of time no amount of protesting will change it.

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 07:45 AM
Nothing suprises me anymore to be honest, the UK has slid for so long we are up to our nostrils in sh*te and there is now nothing to be done except sit back and enjoy the fireworks. I am past arguing about immigration and the loss of local culture and values as achieves nothing.

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 09:28 AM
reply to post by On the level

There is always something you can do, write letters to appropriate people, organize peaceful marches against it, post flyers around, etc.

Although if this isn't discussed it could spiral out of control, there protecting us "due to the fear that the information could be used by terrorists to plan attacks" what else could be used as information by these terrorists? video, flyers, talking about certain things, ... hmm.

Or maybe I'm wrong, hope I am.

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 11:01 AM

Somebody in London is stopped and searched every three minutes, according to new figures obtained by BBC London.

The Metropolitan Police used section 44 of the Terrorism Act more than 170,000 times in 2008 to stop people in London.

That compares to almost 72,000 anti-terror stop and searches carried out in the previous year.

Then they come under more increase pressure and......

The number of people stopped and searched by police under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 has fallen.

Police used the powers to stop and search 36,189 people between April and June 2009 - a fall of 37% on the same period in 2008.

I'm sure we will see a rise once again, once everything settles down.

"Give me liberty, or give me death."


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 08:35 PM
The thing is especially for photographers that if you get targeted and you stand for your rights you will be on government #list for the rest of your life. That alone is reason why many choose not to challenge illegal 'orders' from the cops.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 08:39 PM

Originally posted by PsykoOps
The thing is especially for photographers that if you get targeted and you stand for your rights you will be on government #list for the rest of your life. That alone is reason why many choose not to challenge illegal 'orders' from the cops.

So, those who DON'T FIGHT are making it easier for the noose to slide around your necks!
Who cares if you're on a 'list'? Every person worth his/her salt will be on it anyway!
You'd be in good company!

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 08:43 PM
Yes it's true and that applies to all violations of civil rights. Sadly many people have too much in stake to make trouble with the powers.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 08:53 PM
So this happening in the UK where pretty much every square inch of the whole country is covered by an government camera ...

So freakin' horribly ironic !

And all because ...

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