Photographing & Videoing Police

There has been a spate of people having their phones or cameras confiscated following the observance of the police conducting themselves in a manner prejudicial to the common good. Now, setting aside the obvious ramifications under S26 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and of Misconduct in Public Office (a common law crime which carries a life sentence for anyone with an oath of office), there are the obvious moral implications under Magna Carta – the denial of right or justice (Magna Carta 1215 Article 40).Greater_Manchester_Police_officers_in_Piccadilly_Gardens_(Manchester,_England)_2

We would like to make it abundantly clear to all people, not least of all the psychopathic police officers who are only interested in protecting themselves, rather than the public, that there is NO LEGAL obstruction to photography in a public place. In the absence of a prohibition, this makes it an unalienable right.

Whilst we stand by this, we remind all that there is a “law” which could arguably be brought into play, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which specifies that an act of harassment must take place on at least two occasions. For this reason we ask that no lawful rebel activists make a nuisance of themselves with their recording equipment – do not keep following police around and videoing or photographing them for no reason but only do so when you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a criminal act or civil wrong is actually taking place.

Please see the following .pdf ACPO guidance on photography for the official police position on the matter.

ACPO Guidance on Photography of Police


In response to some negative publicity arising from this page, please find below the current guidance from the Police National Legal Database on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.


1(1)A person must not pursue a course of conduct

(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and

(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

1(1A)A person must not pursue a course of conduct—

(a) which involves harassment of two or more persons, and

(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of those persons, and

(c) by which he intends to persuade any person (whether or not one of those mentioned above)—

(i) not to do something that he is entitled or required to do, or

(ii) to do something that he is not under any obligation to do.

2(1)A person who pursues a course of conduct in breach of section 1(1) or (1A) is guilty of an offence.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997, ss 1(1), (1A), and 2(1)

Points to prove

  •  pursued a course of conduct
  •  on at least two occasions
  •  amounting to harassment
  •  which you knew/ought to have known amounted to harassment


Course of conduct

  • Must involve to a single person under s 1(1), conduct on at least two occasions in relation to that person, orto two or more persons under s 1(1A), conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each of those persons.
  • Conduct includes speech.



Includes causing the person(s) alarm or distress.

Explanatory notes

  • If a reasonable person in possession of the same information as the defendant would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment, then the offender should have realised this as well (Kellett v DPP[2001] EWHC 107 (Admin)).
  • A person may be subjected to harassment by writing (eg emails or letters), orally (eg in person or by telephone), or by conduct.
  • An offender does not have to act in a malicious, threatening, abusive, or insulting way. It could be that they may be infatuated with the victim and actually intend them no harm.
  • The court can issue a ‘restraining order’ against the defendant. If required ask the CPS to apply for one.


Section 1(1) or (1A) does not apply to a course of conduct if the person who pursued it shows—

(a) that it was pursued for the prevention or detection of crime,

(b) that it was pursued under any enactment or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any enactment, or

(c) that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997, s 1(3)


Nothing on this website is to be construed as legal advice.