Hostile reconnaissance

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New guidelines about the taking of photographs in public places have been released by the Home Office. The guidelines reaffirm that “the fact that an individual is taking a photograph does not in itself indicate hostile reconnaissance or other suspicious behaviour.” Good to know – I’d hate to think of being rugby tackled to the ground by an over-zealous security guard, high on stale coffee and fresh from a Die Hard DVD box set! It goes on to state, “if an individual is in a public place photographing or filming a private building, security guards have no right to prevent the individual from taking photographs,” and that “security guards cannot delete images or seize cameras, nor can they obstruct individuals from taking photographs.” It doesn’t say anything about them not critiquing your work and crushing your artist spirit…

The Home Office also adds, “the size and type of cameras are not, in themselves, indications of suspicious behaviour. Large cameras, lenses and tripods should therefore not be viewed as being more suspicious than other types of equipment.” I imagine image quality is not high on the list on your average terrorist on a reconnaissance mission anyway…I wonder if they process RAW files in Lightroom or Photoshop?

This is an image I took in New York. No security guards came rushing out, but there were a couple of police officers, who I’m pleased to say didn’t blink an eye.

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