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Photographers Rights And The Law In The UK
A guide for UK photographers.
(©urban75, updated April 2013)
Despite the law being clear on a citizen's rights to freely take pictures in public places (with a few restrictions) there is growing evidence of the police, police community support officers (PCSOs), security guards and general jobsworths failing to respect the rights of photographers going about their lawful business.
Following on from our article on UK photographers protesting about increasing police harassment, this feature hopes to outline your legal rights as a photographer, whether you're taking snaps on a mobile phone camera or wielding a monster Nikon about.
We've posted pages about the common issues (see links on the left), but bear in mind that this is intended purely as a rough outline of your rights and not a definitive legal statement.
Some aspects of the law can be complex, changing and open to interpretation - with Scottish law sometimes carrying a different spin on clauses - so always seek proper legal advice if you get into trouble.
Latest UK incidents
Photographers rights in the UK: discussion
Man takes picture of daughter in shopping centre. Police called (BBC, Sept 2011)
Terrorism police pounce on tourist photographers (Amateur Photographer, July 2011)
You are welcome to discuss the issues on our bulletin board thread Photographers rights in the UK: discussion.
Please note that you will have to register to post comments (it is free).
Also check out the
Iím a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! campaign.
Note: This article attempts to be a brief educational guide to the sometimes-complex matter of your rights as a photographer. It is not legal advice and we recommend seeking out proper legal advice if you encounter problems. Some material in this article has been sourced from the UK Photographers Rights website.