This is worth a look. The chap handles himself very well.
Indeed. His name is Bob Patefield. It comes across rather strongly that his real crime is not “being anti-social”, but telling the first semi-police-officer, a “Police Community Support Officer”, very politely, that he wasn’t prepared to give his personal details, because he didn’t believe that the semi-police-officer had the right to demand such details. That semi-police-officer then told a real police officer about this act of defiance, and the real police officer then moved in, inventing the claim that the photographer was taking pictures in an anti-social manner.
He was held in custody for eight hours, and then released without charge.
What a difference an internet makes. Not just in spreading the news of such harassment, but in rewarding those who resist it with a bit of glamour and attention and praise, from the likes of us. And punishing the police for such behaviour in an equal and opposite way.
The bottom line of all this, I believe, is that none of us actually believes that the way to stop terrorists, any terrorists, is to stop people taking photos of buildings. There are just too many people who take such pictures for entirely innocent reasons for such harassment to make any sense. Contrariwise, have terrorists ever crept about the scene of their subsequent crime, taking snaps? If so, I sure we would now be being told about it relentlessly. I like to take pictures of tourists taking pictures in the centre of London, and they constantly take pictures of buildings that are surely a lot more likely to be attacked by terrorists than is Accrington town centre. Like: the Houses of Parliament. The police never seem to bother them.
Maybe the police want to establish a track record having harassed lots of people who they have no reason to suspect of being terrorists, so that when they really do suspect someone of being a terrorist, who is also taking photos, and they ask him who he is, they can avoid accusations of racism, Islamophobia, etc. But if they have reasons for such suspicions, why all this kerfuffle when they haven’t? These PCSO people in Accrington should perhaps be told about this.
Maybe the truth of this is that these PCSOs are simply picking fights with people, in order to prove that they are doing something other than just wandering about rather aimlessly and not really earning whatever they are paid. Maybe it’s that simple.