Premium Member Phil Rhodes Posted February 6, 2012 Author Premium Member Share Posted February 6, 2012 As I understand it, the really serious problem with this passed with the death of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. It seems that the police sort of arbitrarily decided, among themselves, that Section 44 was carte blanche to hassle anyone they liked, for more or less any reason, or for no reason whatsoever. Of course, Patefield wasn't ultimately arrested under that particular piece of law, so in many ways the problem theoretically remains - it's just less likely that the police will have that option in the forefront of their minds. It is of course iniquitous that we must modify our behaviour based on what the police happen to feel about a particular piece of law, or how much they have it in mind at that moment. It is to an extent inevitable that law enforcement is affected by the proclivities of the police officers involved, and I suspect also that no officer wishes to be asked to explain why he didn't query the behaviour of a person who might later prove to be involved in some appalling terrorist incident - an that is really a universal excuse for almost any sort of excess, and really it's the root cause behind all of this current paranoia (and other, more immediately severe problems like McCarthyism, the situation in communist Romania, etc). I certainly don't think any of this excuses the decision - presumably from on high, and not the fault of individual officers - to persecute professional photographers. If you want to treat this as a counterintelligence operation, it does offer potential miscreants a catastrophically obvious counter-counterintelligence option, which is simply shoot with a bloody iphone. P Edit - Hang on, did he say Section 2? The only Section 2 I know of that authorises a stop and search is part of - seriously - the Poaching Prevention Act 1862, which requires suspicion, briefly put, that someone's been poaching. Is this how he managed to take them to the cleaners? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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