London Metropolitan Police loose the plot.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by gareth harper, May 31, 2005.

  1. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    London Metropolitan Police lose the plot.

    Afraid I can't find this yet on the web, so I'll type it out.

    In the news section in this weeks AP in the UK,

    Photographers face a fresh crackdown on their right to take pictures in public as a result of new measures designed to clampdown on paedophiles.

    London Mayor Ken Livingston - in co-operation with the metropolitan Police- has warned parents to vigilant about strangers taking pictures of children using digital cameras and camera phones in London's parks and other public areas.

    The mayors office told us that it plans to erect warning signs in the Greater London Authority-owned property. This includes Trafalgar Square.

    AP has learnt that Livingston also wants to put up signs elsewhere in London after discussing this with councils and private landowners.

    For more on this highly controversial move, read next weeks AP news (11 June).


    What do you think?
    I think this is absolutely outrageous, and incredibly stupid and naive, not to mention very dangerous.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2005
  2. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Proper big brother stuff.
     
  3. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Seems to me there should be some type of legal precedent on this one. Can they just walk up and accuse someone of "taking a picture" of someone on public property? I think not. tim
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Considering the cameras they are targeting, I have no problem. As a mother, in today's chaotic world, and the ever viglient stance we have to take to protect our children form the current rash of insanity, I can understand the need for something to help protect. Gone are the days when children could wander around without their parents in attendance. I can now hear the rush to villify me because I in essence am going against those that think that the right to take pictures should be all emcompassing, anywhere, anytime, of any subject, So be it.
     
  5. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Aggie, I don't think anyone would fault you for caring about children. My concern is that the "authorities" have stepped over a line, in the same way sexual predators have already done in taking and posting child porn.

    Is there a balance here somewhere? If so, what would it be? Asking before taking a picture? Passing a new law? How about targeting those perps who run the web sites? tim
     
  6. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    Considering the cameras they are targeting, I have no problem. As a mother, in today's chaotic world, and the ever viglient stance we have to take to protect our children form the current rash of insanity, I can understand the need for something to help protect. Gone are the days when children could wander around without their parents in attendance.

    I'm wondering what harm I am doing to a child by taking their picture. How does a child suffer by being photographed in a public place.

    Nor do I think they, or the public will make any distinction on camera type.

    I also find it doubtful that children are at any higher risk today then they were in years gone by. It's also worth noting that the vast majority of children are abused by people they know, more often than not these people are family members.

    This is just more nonsense to generate fear, suspicion and paranoia in the general public, and I'm very surprised to hear that Ken Livingston is involved.

    I hope that this story turns out to be utter nonsense, but considering recent verified stories in AP about street photographers being arrested, held and their homes searched etc, I rather suspect that this is indeed for real.
     
  7. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Indeed. That is an issue never addressed. Instead of coming to terms with the reality, it seems that the culture is flailing in blind reaction.
     
  8. alien

    alien Member

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    AP

    I have been following this for a while in the AP magazine and think it is insane.

    A hype is being created, and the politicians are eager to show that they do something, however ineffective and ridiculous.

    'Real' problems concerning child abuse are not tackled.

    Seems to be the norm these days.
     
  9. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    It does seem councils and the government can put up as many cameras as they want, where they want, and watch who they want. They are supposed to be trusted to always do the right thing, whereas the average bod with a camera is always open to suspicion, and is a terrorist, criminal, paedophile or all 3. I find it all a little sad and a reflection of the way of things - I'm also a dad and a grandad.
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Red Kens as daft as a brush, always was and always will be.
     
  11. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    Red Kens as daft as a brush, always was and always will be.

    Well perhaps some might disagree. With no party backing he won the first London Major election. Quite amazing.
    Having said that he does seem to have suddenly taken leave of his senses.
     
  12. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I guess I'm a radical, but if I had it my way all pedophiles and drunk drivers would be shot. Catch them in the act, take them out back. End of problem.
     
  13. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    If taking pictures of children playing in public can be construed as a prelude to pedophilia, then taking pictures of women in public can be construed as a prelude to rape. and so on.

    Although I like the idea of keeping the kids safe, this is only a feel good measure and does not protest them in anyway.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Strikes me as a very public way for the government to make it look like they are doing something about child abuse without doing anything at all.
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    This does not surprise me. Livingstone is a hateful little person with many axes to grind. He hates cars, so he brought in the congestion charge, his next target is the Chelsea Tractor user because he hates visible affluence, he hates pigeons so he made feeding them illegal, now it appears he hates cameras not controlled by him, so he's targeting photographers.

    More seriously, when I am street shooting I never try to be unobtrusive, I make it damn obvious I am taking photographs. To appear surrepticious will immediately raise suspicion. If I wish to shoot something including people I always ask, A friendly 'mind if i take a pic?' is usually enough to either get permission or for people to move out of the way.
     
  17. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Amen to that brother!

    Bob.

    BTW, I bet a fiver it never happens: typical Livingstone claptrap. He was going to make the Edgeware Road from Shepherd's Bush to Ealing a bus lane (I kid you not). Spent 10's of thousands of pounds on plans and "consultation" before dropping the whole idea which an averagely intelligent six year old could tell you was a totaly stupid and unworkable fantasy. Plus, The Corporation of London owns a lot of London's Parks and they hate Livingstone with a passion only exceeded by Tony Blair...
     
  18. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Welcome to "gun control" for cameras.

    Instead of doing something about the people who cause the problem by using a piece of machinery in an inappropriate manner, we're going to try to regulate the machinery or restrict the rightfull use of said machinery by law abiding citizens.

    Wait until you have to register your camera in order to take it out in public.

    What a crock - I'm with Eric !!
     
  19. David

    David Member

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    Please forgive being so particular, but there is a difference between 'loose' and 'lose' and they are typically turned around as in the title to this nice thread.

    lose , verb, lost, losing.
    v.t. 1. to not have any longer; have taken away from one by accident, carelessness, parting, or death.
    Ex. to lose a finger, to lose a dollar, to lose a friend, to lose one's life.
    2. to be unable to find.
    Ex. to lose a book, to lose an address.

    loose , adjective,
    adj. 1. not fastened.
    Ex. a loose thread.
    (SYN) unbound, unfastened, untied.
    2. not tight.

    Ah, that felt better. Sorry, but thanks.
     
  20. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    According to a psychologist where I work, the crime of incest is so common in the United States, that it is STATISTICALLY NORMAL!! Please do not misinterpret what I just wrote...incest is not being suggested as anything less than an abuse and a crime, but rather that it is so commonly practiced that it becomes "normal" in its' frequency. That is shocking and deeply saddening. My guess is that it has always been so....perhaps even more common in the not long gone era of silence about such things than now when, like driving drunk and smoking, it is a focal point of opprobrium. Children are at greatest risk in their own families...the stranger on the street is a matter of concern of course, but not nearly to the degree that is supposed.
     
  21. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    loose, v. tr.



    1. To let loose; release: loosed the dogs.
    2. To make loose; undo: loosed his belt.
    3. To cast loose; detach: hikers loosing their packs at camp.
    4. To let fly; discharge: loosed an arrow.
    5. To release pressure or obligation from; absolve: loosed her from the responsibility.
    6. To make less strict; relax: a leader's strong authority that was loosed by easy times.
    I think this usage is what Gareth meant in his title. It certainly works better for me.

    However, I think the plot was loosed long ago. This is only the latest milestone in the relentless march toward Ingsoc (which is proceeding quite nicely, thank you...is this Doubleplusgood or what?).
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    Dealing with as many kids as I do, I have to agree with Jovo. The family is more of a threat than a stranger. Yes, we worry about strangers and we should but statistically and realistically most crimes against children are committed by family members (immediate and extended)

    This law is a really good way to hassel a small part of the public and allow people to imagine that they are safer. In reality their children will be no safer, and as over protective parents are looking out for the "perv" with the camera the real people to worry about are left unchecked.
     
  23. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Thanks for posting this, Gareth.

    If we read it carefully there's nothing in this about extending the law, prosecuting anyone, making photography illegal, etc. That would be difficult and would cost money. Instead they have "warned parents to be vigilant" and will "erect warning signs" perpetuating that warning.

    Basically it's a nice cheap way of appearing to do something in response to a media-generated hysteria which will actually serve no purpose other than to generate more hysteria.

    If the average man/woman in the street out with their child and that warning freshly reinforced in their mind encounters a person taking a picture, whether it be with a rangefinder or a tripod-mounted ULF rig, do you think they will all pause to consider whether this constitutes a threat to their (or anyone else's) child? Some may. Others certainly won't.

    So, welcome to London where, if you have a camera, you can look forward to being accosted and accused of pedophilia by anyone who feels like it, have the police called, your home ransacked (as reported in AP a few months ago) and if they can't find anything to prosecute you for be let go with a stern (and completely unconstitutional), "Don't do it again!".

    And where London leads, others follow... :sad:
     
  24. Dimitri

    Dimitri Member

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    This is interesting, but not surprising. I mean if the same people tried to ban "bah-bah-black sheep" and black bin liner bags as being racist (or inciting racial hatred) then this is a normal course of action (and very sane by the past standards).

    And to think that most of these lunatic notions may become laws because people do not care for anything that does not affect them directly.

    I don't know if this is typical of the GL Area, but I seem to remember some funny stories of people being arrested by the police because they tried to develop their family photos (including pictures of their own children taking baths) at their local Boots.

    Mind you these incidents were not very common in the early 90's (after that I left the UK, so I don't know much), which leads me to believe that some people are getting more and more insane.
     
  25. Dimitri

    Dimitri Member

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    Fank, I only hope that they do not try to export it as well.

    I left England in 92 and returned to Greece where I did not have to worry about insanities like these.

    However I'm now worried that the USA -> UK -> Eurore line in exporting insanity will find it's way in our part of the world. We already got some of it with the Olympics, but it was short lived. Let's hope that it will stay this way.
     
  26. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    It doesn't sound like they are proposing any laws making it illegal to take photos, they're just proposing to put up some signs asking parents to be vigilant.

    Big deal.

    If they are in fact attempting to make it illegal to take photos, I think the Met will discover that it is necessary for that to be passed by an Act of Parliament. :smile:

    We had similar stuff occur here in Australia recently, with some councils attempting to ban photography at public swimming pools. They soon found out that they didn't have the authority to do that and were forced to back down amid quite a lot of public backlash over councils exceeding their authority.

    Graham.