Ranger703 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 157 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2132 times:
This campaign is aimed primarily at inner cities and in particular London(hence it is a Met Police campaign and not a nationwide campaign!) not airport perimeters,where the Police are fully aware of our hobby and in many places actually support it.
If I was in London,Manchester,Birmingham or any major UK city for example and saw somebody taking photographs of anything out of the ordinary other than the usual touristy spots,especially banks,government buildings,police stations,CCTV camera locations etc,I would be pretty suspicious and most certainly report such activity.
I don't see how or why this should affect our hobby.
Sulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2029 posts, RR: 35 Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2122 times:
I think anything that openly links suspicion with what we do is not a good thing. You're quite right in that we don't have to worry about Police at airports, but what about the public?
Some Johnny sees us shooting away and starts thinking it's his diligent duty to stay on the safe side (don't underestimate the power of advertising) and report us. He or she may not have even thought about it before. This in turn creates more work for the police, who will get fed up and possibly take a firmer line.
Lastly, Police or security have never, ever asked 'why?'; because it's obvious that we're taking photos of planes (or architecture); something like this can be a trigger for them to behave differently; I think this is already an issue in some parts of the US where police are considerably more aggressive because doctrinally they are encouraged to be so under the current climate. I don't really want that here.
EMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1163 posts, RR: 2 Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2054 times:
Quoting Sulman (Reply 2): Some Johnny sees us shooting away and starts thinking it's his diligent duty to stay on the safe side (don't underestimate the power of advertising) and report us. He or she may not have even thought about it before. This in turn creates more work for the police, who will get fed up and possibly take a firmer line.
I have to agree with this point. I can see us aviation photogs getting reported more and the police having to respond. This is for the most part a waste of their and our time. I have been in the back of a police car at EMA answering dumb questions for about 30 minutes all because I was walking around the car park with a camera, I wasn't even taking pics I just had it slung round my neck! The questions had nothing to do with the photography either they wanted to know which university I went to and what course I did more that why I was taking pics, they didn't even want to see the pics I had taken!
I think we need a national spotter/photographer card scheme like at BHX. That would save our time and the polices as they would only have to look at the card for a second.
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
Or as we like to call it, 'Dob in your neighbour line'. [As that is probably the reason for 99.99% of calls to it are for ... dobbing in neighbour's who won't stop playing Hip-hop rubbish at 3 in the morning!]
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
Bjcc From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 317 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2034 times:
I'm sorry, but wandering round an airport car park is going to get you stopped, no matter what the security situation is or isn't. A sad fact is there are a huge number of thefts of, and from vehicles at airports.
I wouldn't normally disagree with a policy aimed at improving security, but in this case I think I do. Joe public is not a bright creature usually, and will associate things as being suspicious because something has been hinted at.
I think that rather than look at the whole picture (no pun intended) 'person with camera' will automatically become suspect.
ID cards wont help you at all. They prove and indicate nothing at all. In fact, of more use is a bank card, or driving licence. A 'spotters' card will not prove identity, it just indicates that a person giving a name, which may or may not be correct applied for it. It doesn't tell a police officer you are not wanted, or disqualified from driving. Even if checks are made at the time of application, those checks are invalid 5 minutes later.
In any case, whats to stop Mr Terrorist applying for one, usually they have never come to notice of Police before, so again even if checks are made, they are worthless.
I can see why people think they will solve a problem, but they simply wont.
I'm afraid we are stuck with it, like it or not for a very long time.
EMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1163 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1962 times:
Quoting Bjcc (Reply 7): I'm sorry, but wandering round an airport car park is going to get you stopped, no matter what the security situation is or isn't. A sad fact is there are a huge number of thefts of, and from vehicles at airports.
I see what you are saying and agree about the thefts part but I could just have been going back to my car from getting off a plane. I had my bag on and the camera was in a case and didn't have my big zoom lens on. It was really the questions they asked me that p***ed me off. Totally useless waste of time. As you said most terrorists are not known to the police so what good would a background search do? If I had been taking pics of sensetive things they would be non the wiser as they didn't look at the pics once, even when I said do you want to see my pics when they first questioned me they said no!
As far as the ID cards I was thinking along the lines of what you have to have for photographing at CDG. A letter an a copy of photo page of passport send to the chief of police gets you a pass that you show to the airport police. When I got to CDG the armed police came up asked for the pass looked at it and checked I matched the phot then said have a nice day and left me alone for the rest of my afternoon there. I doubt it will stop terrorists but if they are determined enough to blow up a plane they will no matter what measures are in place.
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
CalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 6 Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1947 times:
Quoting Ranger703 (Reply 3): Hey if it stops another 9/11 or 7/7, I for one don't mind anybody questioning me about my photography.
Could you remind us which terrorist plots were bungled because the terrorists took tons of pictures with big telephoto lenses but nobody bothered turning them in? I trust there were thousands of people phoning after the incidents you named, calling police and saying "I saw that guy taking photos and didn't bother calling..."?
Quoting Bjcc (Reply 7):
ID cards wont help you at all. They prove and indicate nothing at all.
In Calgary they prove that you have a clean criminal background and no outstanding warrants. Ditto for other cities that have observer programs. It doesn't guaranty a person is "safe," but background is usually a good indicator of "future performance."
AndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 996 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1945 times:
If I were a train photographer I'd be more worried about this than I am as an aeroplane photographer... Train [stations] tend to be in towns and it'll be much easier for Mr & Mrs Chav to be concerned about photographers in stations than they are likely to be at the [typically] less travelled ends of airport runways. Besides, even at teeming hot-beds of nefarious activity like EMA, the Leicestershire Rozzers in their BMW X5s come around the usual locations from time to time and rarely bother anyone - I suspect that they know who the "usual suspects" are (or at least what cars we drive - heck, they even stopped me in the airport for speeding and asked why I was there so they must have a record of my car even though they didn't "do" me) and just leave us to get on with it. If anyone reports us for brandishing cameras in the usual locations, Plod may take an extra look, but as I said they look from time to time now, and in any case spotting/aeroplane photography is better understood here in the UK than it is in the US - I doubt this will chance things much.
Ranger703 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 157 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1898 times:
Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 10): Could you remind us which terrorist plots were bungled because the terrorists took tons of pictures with big telephoto lenses but nobody bothered turning them in? I trust there were thousands of people phoning after the incidents you named, calling police and saying "I saw that guy taking photos and didn't bother calling..."?
I never mentioned telephoto lenses,did I?
The campaign is seeking assistance from the public to report any unusual activity,it isn't just aimed at photograpy,I honestly don't see what or where the problem is here. Taking pictures of aircraft at airports in the usual spotter places is not a problem and I don't foresee it becoming one in the future.
Are people really saying that they object to a police officer or a security guard pulling you to one side to ask you the nature of your business if you are taking photos?
The more obvious it is, the more likely people will notice, and most of us aren't using unremarkable little P-n-S's.
Quoting Ranger703 (Reply 12): Taking pictures of aircraft at airports in the usual spotter places is not a problem and I don't foresee it becoming one in the future.
To YOU it's not. To Joe Uneducated Public it is. And most of us don't hang out at the official viewing area as the best views are often back roads, parks, etc. Witness how many people on this site have had police show up after getting called about a "suspicious" photographer. Ad campaigns like this will only increase the problem, and police may (as mentioned above) just deal with it by telling us to leave.
Quoting Ranger703 (Reply 12): Are people really saying that they object to a police officer or a security guard pulling you to one side to ask you the nature of your business if you are taking photos?
Yup. I have too little time to spot as it is. I thought we lived in a society where police only bothered people with "probable cause." Somebody noticing something they wouldn't otherwise is not probable cause.
Bjcc From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 317 posts, RR: 4 Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1857 times:
I get the impression, that you were stopped more to do with the fact you were in the car park, than any interest in you taking photos. Without knowing what they asked you, I can't comment on whether they were the questions I would have been asking, but the fact they didn't want to see your photos is probably becuase they believed you had them, and therefore was pointless. That you had photos, doesn't mean you can't have been breaking into cars.
The pass means you had no outstanding warrants when it was issued, not at the time you are stopped. Police here check driving records when stopping cars, for the same reason, just becuase someone produces a licence it does not mean they are not banned from driving. At the time of issue they were not, however the following day they could be.
Spotters cards would be the same, even if produced to me when I was a Police Officer, I would still have made the same checks I would if no card was produced. Thus they are pointless, and no more useful than any other form of ID.
'Probable cause' is in the UK reasonable grounds and depends on circumstances. Also a UK Police Officer is enttitled to speak to anyone, with no reasons at all. Further action than that, is subject to grounds, which have to be defined by the officer in any records of seach, or if a casual conversation changes to become a 'stop' covered by legislation. I have no idea how things happen in Canada, but you are apparently comparing 2 different methods of Policing.
Irrespective of that, while I can see this will cause much more running about, most of it pointless, it does have the effect of reassuring the great unwashed. I am not over keen on being constantly stopped and checked, but life's changing, and I'd rather this than have to pick up bits of bodies, I've done both, and I know which I prefer.
G-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1209 posts, RR: 10 Reply 16, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1839 times:
Personally I think this is a waste of public money. The money could be better spent on intelligence gathering rather than a poster campaign. In context, in central London, how do you differentiate between a well meaning tourist, say of 'non Western European' origin and someone who has more sinister motives?
Bjcc From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 317 posts, RR: 4 Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1829 times:
An inteligence gathering exercise is exactly what it is. The poster part is to get people to ring in, exactly the same as drink drive posters are intended for. Yes, innocent people will get stopped, but then so will those who's intentions are not so innocent. In doing so there is a deterent effect.
How do you tell the difference? By the circumstances, by looking at everything. It's not 100% fool proof, but then nothing is, and it is far better than nothing at all.
It's throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I can't think of a single instance where a terrorist act was thwarted by anything over than deep intelligence. Number crunching, paper trails, wiretaps (contentious), infiltration, informers, all seem to be the common denominator when things are successful, and I do believe there have been a large number of successes.
Despite that, in the current 'Theatre of Security' that is now being played out, four tree-huggers still managed to get on the apron at LHR and raise a banner - on top of an aeroplane. It's classic folly.
We coped for over 40 years with rather a lot of terrorism without needing these measures, I don't see why it has to happen now.
Bjcc From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 317 posts, RR: 4 Reply 22, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1740 times:
I suggest you have a look back into the history of IRA terrorism then. I can think of quite a few terrorist acts that have been prevented by other then inteligence. It's called a bit of luck, a bit of very good policework by noticing things that don't fit. If IRA terrorism isn't good enough for you, at leat 2 Middle East related acts in the UK I know of were prevented again by putting together thinsg that didn't really fit, and nothing to do with the things you suggest.
Why it's happening now, is because this is a different form of terrorism, Paddy wasn't going to die for the cause. These ones will, and these ones don't care about public opinion. As I said before, which would you rather, pick up the bits of body (it's not fun, I can promise you!) or a few minutes of answering questions, if it comes to that?
How many photographers have been shot in the UK? Erm, none?
Yes, correct, so we should do nothing then, becuase in your mind it's futile? On the other hand we could do something, and save a few lives possibly, just so you can take photos without being question?
G-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1209 posts, RR: 10 Reply 23, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1733 times:
Jeff M - I can see your point. I think my reaction comes from the fact I see the UK as an increasingly restrictive State where even the most innocuous activity is frowned upon or is possibly seen as suspect.
In context of the awareness campaign, this is being promoted by the Metropolitan Police in London. What niggles me, living in Greater London as I do, that the majority of Londoners are pretty streetwise bunch and are acutely aware that there may be 'terrorists' may be in our midst. I appreciate there may be the odd ignorant Londoner out there but I fail see that a poster campaign will raise their awareness.
I can see you have to have the information and data in the first instance; a particular activity in isolation will not be significant unless it is married up to another behaviour or activity. However, on this occasion, I would prefer if the money was spent on the resources of the Security Services and Anti-Terrorist Police so that they could focus on the minority who indulge in these crimes.
DC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 16 Reply 24, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1733 times:
Quoting Bjcc (Reply 22): Yes, correct, so we should do nothing then, becuase in your mind it's futile? On the other hand we could do something, and save a few lives possibly, just so you can take photos without being question?
Frankly I couldn't care less if I get questioned or not. Sure, it can be a pain in the backside if the Police are so wanting, but ultimately I'm not doing any wrong so they leave me alone.
Lets get into the real world though. It is VERY unlikely that Police/Security at an airport are going to be able to prevent a terrorist attack as it unveils. They didn't stop the IRA or the Glasgow bombers. It was just good fortune no-one was seriously injured.
Obviously missing something....
25 Ryan h: The only worry I would have would be a police officer on a mega power trip, who makes up the law as he goes. Tends to happen in the US alot.
26 JeffM: I guess history hasn't snuck up on you and slapped you on the head has it? Frowned upon? From where I stand it looks like they are just asking for pe
27 Lennymuir: I am regularly stopped at Edinburgh by the local police, even on land that doesn't belong to the airport. (Ingliston car park) I'm getting to know all
28 Bjcc: G-CIVP It's being led by the Met Police, because they are the lead UK Force for anti terrorist Policing, nothing to do with Londoners being street wis
29 GPHOTO: And how many innocent Brazilian electricians? The public were not involved in this one, it was trained and skilled operatives all the way from the to