The state of street photography in the UK

Scary. I blogged previously about photographer’s rights in Irelnd but it appears that UK Police are ignorant of those rights which are similar to Ireland’s. I have never been stopped by Gardai (the Irish Police Force) taking photos on the street, but in the UK it seems to be a growing problem for photographers. Have you ever been stopped shooting photographs in a public place?

Make sure to read Photographer’s Rights from DIgital Rights Ireland to find out more about your rights as a street photographer in Ireland. If you travel you should always be aware of local laws as they’re liable to change in every jurisdiction. (via

7 thoughts on “The state of street photography in the UK

  1. It might be a numbers game

    Walking the streets of Cork, it’s rare to see a member of the police force

    Walk down Oxford street and you’ll often find more police than busses

    Saying that after taking the photo below

    I helped the Gardai with their investigations

    Luckly for me I was dismissed after being advised it was not legal to photograph the police

  2. I had a run in with a security guard at the Lloyds building, London when i was there in April. Apparently i was paying “Too much attention” to the building, because your average tourist just comes and goes, looked like a pro because “because of my camera” and that the building was “copyrighted”. He reluctantly believed that was only an amateur, i had bit of a laugh with him but pretty much told him to piss off. But i’ve done alot of photography around London and the Underground and have never any problem apart from this one very minor incident. I even had Tube workers walk right past me when i was shooting and they did not blink an eye at me!!

  3. Pingback: Snapshots of illegality « Chris Luff, discomblogulating

  4. I find it amazing that the police can stop you from taking a photo out in public, especially when on TV almost every other hour is a show where police are videoing their work and their arguement to the people they are videoing is that its a public place. One rule for them and another for the rest of us by the sounds of it.

  5. I have had some members stop me on the London underground, but like Alan I did have a Pro looking camera.
    I think that makes a difference. Go somewhere with your compact camera or mobile phone camera and people won’t bat an eyelid.
    Get your SLR out however and people start noticing.

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