Paedophiles and perverts across the nation can legally sit near a play area filming or photographing children and there’s nothing you, or the police, can do about it.
In the United Kingdom, it’s legal to photograph anyone in a public place – including children.
In essence, if somebody wanted to photograph an adult woman’s cleavage while she waits for the bus, or film someone else’s child running around a field, they can do so without breaking the law.
Avon and Somerset Police said: “Taking photos in a public place is not illegal. The only time an offence is committed is if the photographs being taken are considered to be indecent.
“There is no law preventing people from taking photographs in public. This includes taking photos of other people’s children. It is an offence to take indecent photographs.”
However, there are some laws around photographing and filming people in public:
1. It’s illegal to take photos or video of children that are indecent. The taking, possession, distribution or publishing of indecent photographs of children under 16 could result in a prison sentence.
2. It could be deemed harassment of a person by taking their photograph. It is only considered harassment if your actions cause them alarm or distress and amount to a course of conduct, not a single incident (for example, on at least two occasions).
3. The laws around trespass control access to private property for the purposes of taking photographs. You cannot take photographs while on someone else’s property, but you are allowed to photograph people on private property from public land.
4. Prevention of terrorism and protection of national security – this applies to taking photos around sensitive locations such as airports or government buildings.
So what can you do about people taking photographs of you or your family in public places? The answer is, unfortunately, nothing unless they commit one of the above offences.
If you’re concerned about someone’s activities, call the police on 101.
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