Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Police Accountability

Following my blog post yesterday I have watched a number of videos where members of the public have confronted and filmed police officers in the course of their duty and it makes for quite scary and depressing viewing.

Most of the filmmakers are polite, intelligent and informed, as one supposes you need to be to have the presence of mind to film an encounter with a police office and ask cogent, intelligent questions. In return almost without exception the officers are confrontational, aggressive and sadly, often ignorant of the law.

I understand that police officers often have to deal with difficult situations and dangerous criminals however, the law is set up to protect everyone not just the police and the rights of criminals. The rest of us, law abiding people who go our of their way not to become involved in criminality have rights too and the police would be well advised to consider this when dealing with people outwith of criminal investigation type situations.

I would suggest this video as a starter : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7BQvt3XeAY 

It shows a member of the public, who seems to have done nothing more than make a minor traffic error - which incidentally he denies - and is then pursued quite aggressively by a police officer who frankly makes a total idiot of himself based solely on his lack of knowledge of the basics of his job. After all if a police office doesn't know when and in what situation he is able to arrest someone or ask for their personal details following an incident with a push bike then what earthly use is he in the face of a serious crime.

The mind boggles and my advice is to always film any encounter with a police officer, it is totally legal to film the police at work in public under any circumstance except for one exclusion based on Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000 (see http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice) and this only applies if the images taken could be deemed to assist a terrorist, in all other circumstances it is perfectly legal to film the police and given the way officers seem to act when on camera I would be unwilling to be questioned off camera for fear that the officers in question would abuse their authority, whether out of ignorance or malice.

I'd really advise people to do some research around this subject on You Tube - it is totally fascinating.

No comments:

Post a Comment