Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Filming the Police

by Charles Pooter

Sean Gabb on the Libertarian Alliance Forum posted a link to the following YouTube clip:

A strong precedent needs to be set in this country that it is OK for citizens to film the police. I suggest that anyone encountering the police should immediately use the video recording function on their camera phone to record the encounter and make it known to the officers that you are doing so. You should also make it clear that there is no law preventing this.

If we lose the right to watch the detectives, we will be another step down the road to hell.


Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Hmmm... I'm split on this one Charles, really I am.

Firstly, I went and looked up this Darren Pollard chap on Youtube, you can find his page here. There he has 9 videos, 5 of which relate to in some way getting on the police's nerves with a video camera.

Looking at them closely, he's got something of an established patter, where it's much more about what he says than about what the police say in response, and there is no question that having a video-camera pointed at you is intimidating. Thus I'm not particularly taken with the idea that any of these coppers have really behaved inappropriately (the funniest is this one where he violates a police cordon and then gets really stroppy), although the desire to put their hand over the camera in one video, and to tell him to stop it is likely to be strong and should be resisted.

Now, I agree completely that we as citizens have every right to monitor the police, and document their actions. And I am convinced that ornery, difficult individuals like Pollard probably lubricate democracy by making non-issues into pressing issues - isn't that why the Americans have made Rosa Parks into a secular saint?

It doesn't change the fact that I think he's probably a lot of a tool tho, and really really wouldn't want to be stuck next at a dinner table... It also doesn't change the fact that, despite his best efforts to wind them up, he hasn't managed to get a smoking gun of police mis-behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Stop filming school children and the police will leave you alone,.

Anonymous said...

I think scariest part of this clip is when the female officer actually says that it is an offence to film the Police...

Anonymous said...

I think that the guy filming is a bit of a cock is entirely irrelevant.

The fact that the police officers seem convinced that it's illegal to film them IS a problem.

If they are doing nothing wrong, then they should have no problem with their conduct while on duty being filmed.

That is the same rationale that the government have for sticking CCTV everywhere, and while *that* is not a cause that I'm going to pick up banners for it is something worth pointing out.

Brandon Furst said...

Dude! I'm a filmmaker in Texas, and I love your vid. The police are reerees here and I get put in handcuffs for filming them all the time. Not one conviction. Turds. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of Police power abuse and muscle flexing. The best part of this video is when the officers have to tuck their tail and exit the premises.

I am all for filming the actions of Police but the only thing that concerns me as this activity by the citizens becomes more popular and practiced is if the citizens begin intentionally provoking the Police by flaunting the fact that this filming can be done.

Common sense goes a long way here. It is OK to film the Police activity while remaining quite and minding your own business but the problems will arise when the filming is taking place and at the same time the verbal flaunts begin without being approached by Police.

By all means I see nothing wrong with standing up for your rights if approached by Police but I wouldn't advise causing them to approach you through something that was said where being quite would have been the proper way to handle it.