Photographers' Rights in the United Kingdom

The ACLU recently released a list of the rights of photographers, but of course, these apply specifically to those in the United States. Here's a great video for those of you who reside in the UK.

What you're allowed to take pictures of and how you may go about it is important information to know as a photographer. Practical Photography Magazine spoke with Malcolm Graham of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary about the topic. Graham is also a photographer himself and thus was able to provide some great clarification. Some salient points include:

  1. One may take pictures of almost anything in a public place, save for military areas and other places as outlined in the Official Secrets Act. 
  2. Nonetheless, taking photos of sensitive locations or specific individuals (particularly children) is advised to be done with common sense.
  3. Security guards can ask you to leave private property, but they cannot seize your equipment.
  4. If approached, politely ask for clarification and the authority on which that person is acting. If the person still demands you leave or stop taking pictures, simply note their name and disengage from the situation before it gets out of control.

Check out the video above for the full interview and details. 

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7 Comments

Chadd Wickens's picture

Do Canada next!!!

Anonymous's picture

Police are only ever polite and curious when i'm out-more often than not dont even care. Building concierges and security around London however.... woooooweee, often a daily struggle.

Stephen Fretz's picture

(Deleted - replied to the wrong comment)

borisschipper's picture

And how about selling or publishing a picture of someone who was in a public place ?
I have a really nice picture of a (fully dressed) kid that is standing in the fountain on washington square park but I don't know if I can use it?
It seems hard to believe that all these street style photographers have model releases for their pictures...

Stephen Fretz's picture

You can sell prints of it, but can't use it commercially (ie, for advertising)

borisschipper's picture

Ok, thanks Stephen

John Skinner's picture

Just another reason I'd hate going back home.

In Canada, we can shoot anything, anytime, on public spaces so long as you're not crossing police lines without permission - full stop.

I can't envision a time of me entertaining some paid Wally stuffing his nose into my affairs on public lands. I would just tell them to sod off and keep doing what I'm doing.