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Police Photography Questioned
Next time police/ Special Branch are filming you at a demo walk over and remind them of this.

excerpt from Surveillance Breached Human Rights (from Oxford Mail) display.var.2241598.0.surveillance_breached_human_rights.php 

The High Court yesterday heard that the Metropolitan Police's policy of routinely photographing anti-arms fair activists was a breach of human rights, in a case brought by an Oxford man.

Campaign Against Arms Trade member Andrew Wood was photographed while attending the annual meeting of publisher and arms fair organiser Reed Elsevier, at the Millennium Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, London, in April 2005, after buying a share in the company.

Before yesterday's hearing, Mr Wood said: "I hope this legal action will safeguard our rights to privacy, freedom of assembly and other rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and in English law."

Martin Westgate, appearing for Mr Wood, told the court: "He asked one question. His behaviour was completely unexceptional, although there was a small disturbance and two other people were ejected."

But he was openly followed by police who took his photograph.

The police said the decision to take his picture was made after Mr Wood was seen speaking to one of the people who had been ejected.

Mr Westgate said: "It may well be that a group of police officers may consider this was behaving in an entirely amicable, non-intimidatory way, but that is not the way it appears on the receiving end.

"It would be unrealistic to assume that someone in Mr Wood's position would not regard this conduct as being unsettling."

Mr Wood's lawyers are seeking a ruling that this type of surveillance violates human rights.

The Met argue the policy was a legitimate way of preventing crime.

The hearing continues.

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