Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Started Aug 15, 2012 | Discussions
SimonTay Regular Member • Posts: 319
Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.
1

http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/man-arrested-in-shrewsbury-over-photos-of-children.html

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

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JamesRL Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

The word prohibited would indicate "illegal" so you are probably correct.

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OP SimonTay Regular Member • Posts: 319
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Not true. I can prohibit someone from taking photographs on my property for example, but that doesn't make it illegal, or an arrestable offence.
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JamesRL Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Context, read the article.

Unless the journalist is totally incompetent, the person was arrested on suspision of

"Taking prohibited photos of children". in our legal system (mine is based on yours), you cannot be arrested without a charge of having violated a law. You can be detained (as a material witness) without a charge, but you cannot be arrested. There are laws in Britain specifically about photography children in an obscene manner.

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RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 28,566
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

SimonTay wrote:

http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/man-arrested-in-shrewsbury-over-photos-of-children.html

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

No, where've you been, under a rock? But again it's in England so who knows what they have for photo laws.

Also it is very difficult to define what is "obscene" as what is obscene to one person may not be the same to another. Just like one person might think Metallica is speed metal, another person think they are hard rock, and other think they are rock.

OP SimonTay Regular Member • Posts: 319
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Not been under a rock at all. Which is why I know it is not an offence to take pictures of children. In a public or private place.
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Dan Marchant Senior Member • Posts: 2,948
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

SimonTay wrote:

Not true. I can prohibit someone from taking photographs on my property for example, but that doesn't make it illegal, or an arrestable offence.
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Simon Taylor - Phooto

While not all prohibited things are illegal, all illegal things are prohibited. I am prohibited by law from driving in excess of the speed limit and I am prohibited by law from taking obscene photographs of children.

If you prohibit me from taking photos on your property and I ignore you all you can do is ask me to leave your property. If I refuse to do that you can call the police, however, they can only arrest me for refusing to leave your property - trespass (which is illegal) - not for taking photographs against your wishes (which isn't). Likewise you can have me removed from your property for singing the Birdie Song (should be illegal but oddly isn't) or pretty much anything else you find annoying. However, in each case the grounds for arrest would be trespass.

The police statement says he was arrested on suspicion of taking photographs which are prohibited. As you can only be arrested for doing something illegal the policeman must have believed that the taking of those photographs was prohibited by law; illegal (as opposed to just prohibited by the mother or the bus station operator). Assuming the man wasn't intending to blow up the child (terrorism) or trying to photograph a secret government document she was holding (espionage) the only type of photographs that are illegal in this situation would be obscene ones. Therefore James is correct and the only reasonable meaning of "prohibited" given the context would be that he was taking obscene images of children.

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Doug J Veteran Member • Posts: 9,855
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

SimonTay wrote:

http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/man-arrested-in-shrewsbury-over-photos-of-children.html

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

I don't know the child photography laws in the UK, but based on the short news item I wouldn't make that assumption. Further, the arrest was made based on the complaint of one witness, this seems a bit weak at this point with insufficient information.

Cheers,
Doug
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TomvL Contributing Member • Posts: 549
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.
2

Doug J wrote:

SimonTay wrote:

http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/man-arrested-in-shrewsbury-over-photos-of-children.html

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

I don't know the child photography laws in the UK, but based on the short news item I wouldn't make that assumption. Further, the arrest was made based on the complaint of one witness, this seems a bit weak at this point with insufficient information.

If it were obscene photo's, why would the children behave in such a matter while waiting for the bus. I think they were just waiting, so there were no obscene pictures to take in the first place.

And further, the man was arrested because the witness thought this type of photo's were prohibited. What is her definition of prohibited pictures? Where is the witness now? Did the children complain or even notice the man?

Unless the actual pictures show differently it seems there is no case, no victims, no witness.

Doug J Veteran Member • Posts: 9,855
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

TomvL wrote:

Doug J wrote:

SimonTay wrote:

http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/man-arrested-in-shrewsbury-over-photos-of-children.html

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

I don't know the child photography laws in the UK, but based on the short news item I wouldn't make that assumption. Further, the arrest was made based on the complaint of one witness, this seems a bit weak at this point with insufficient information.

If it were obscene photo's, why would the children behave in such a matter while waiting for the bus. I think they were just waiting, so there were no obscene pictures to take in the first place.

And further, the man was arrested because the witness thought this type of photo's were prohibited. What is her definition of prohibited pictures? Where is the witness now? Did the children complain or even notice the man?

Unless the actual pictures show differently it seems there is no case, no victims, no witness.

I Agree. There is simply not enough information in the short article to brand the photog as one that captured obscene photos of children.

When one states something is an assumption, others sometimes accept it as a fact, as has been done in this thread. And off goes the branding and witch hunt.

Cheers,
Doug
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JamesRL Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Not all arrests are made on solid evidence, but most are. There is no assumption about the fact the person was arrested.

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Doug J Veteran Member • Posts: 9,855
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

JamesRL wrote:

Not all arrests are made on solid evidence, but most are. There is no assumption about the fact the person was arrested.

The arrest is not assumed, it's the OP's statement, to which you've stated your agreement.

I would assume they were obscene photographs, can't be illegal otherwise?

There is no basis for this assumption in the information provided.

Cheers,
Doug
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JamesRL Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

From a brief google search yesterday, the only photographs of children that are illegal/prohibited are obscene.

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Footski
Footski Senior Member • Posts: 2,172
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Absolutely spot on.

There is a lot of rubbish written on threads like these.

Lets just get some facts straight, based on what we know. To begin with it is NOT illegal to take photographs of people going about their normal routine in a public place, whether they are children or not.

It becomes illegal if there is anything taken of an obscene nature. This Police Officer arrested this man on suspicion of committing an offence. He did not make the arrest on the word of one unknown witness as that may not be a lawful arrest. He has arrived at the scene and talked to the suspect. He will have looked at the images and then and only then formed the opinion that an offence may have been committed. At this point the arrest would have been made. The Officer needs to suspect that an offence has taken place and that the suspect is responsible for it before he can carry out the arrest.

Whether the images are obscene or not is not up to the Officer, but a lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service. The witness would not be needed, unless the images appear to be innocent. In that case the Police would like to trace the witness to ascertain exactly how the suspect was behaving as this may lead to other offences, not immediately apparent.

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tinternaut Veteran Member • Posts: 7,742
Re: That would seem unwise of him......

It isn't strictly speaking illegal to photograph anyone (at least if wearing clothes) on the streets of the UK. However, the police will investigate any complaint, especially anything involving children.

In all likelihood, no charges will be made but the man will have suffered a degree of inconvenience for doing something widely regarded as unwise - probably taking photos of children without the permission of their parents.

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glanglois Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

There's nothing in the brief police news release that indicates which grounds the officer believed he had to make the arrest. There are no references to examination of photos or the making of incriminating statements.

We might ask ourselves if there was an error of law or of fact in this arrest. The Charge Officer obviously agreed with the arrest but that may be a precautionary move until the investigation can be completed.

I have no idea and will not jump to any conclusions until I learn more.

And BTW, "upskirt" photos of minors may amount to a criminal office even if taken in a public place if the images and intent suggest that they're intended to appeal to the prurient interest. And have under federal law, even given the lack of specific statute prohibiting that nasty behaviour.

In a related (and considerably less serious) treatise, a noted Harvard mathematician noted:

"As the judge remarked the day that he acquitted my Aunt Hortense,
To be smut it must be utterly without redeeming social importance."

Footski wrote:

Absolutely spot on.

There is a lot of rubbish written on threads like these.

Lets just get some facts straight, based on what we know. To begin with it is NOT illegal to take photographs of people going about their normal routine in a public place, whether they are children or not.

It becomes illegal if there is anything taken of an obscene nature. This Police Officer arrested this man on suspicion of committing an offence. He did not make the arrest on the word of one unknown witness as that may not be a lawful arrest. He has arrived at the scene and talked to the suspect. He will have looked at the images and then and only then formed the opinion that an offence may have been committed. At this point the arrest would have been made. The Officer needs to suspect that an offence has taken place and that the suspect is responsible for it before he can carry out the arrest.

Whether the images are obscene or not is not up to the Officer, but a lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service. The witness would not be needed, unless the images appear to be innocent. In that case the Police would like to trace the witness to ascertain exactly how the suspect was behaving as this may lead to other offences, not immediately apparent.

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Doug J Veteran Member • Posts: 9,855
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Footski wrote:

Absolutely spot on.

There is a lot of rubbish written on threads like these.

Lets just get some facts straight, based on what we know. To begin with it is NOT illegal to take photographs of people going about their normal routine in a public place, whether they are children or not.

It becomes illegal if there is anything taken of an obscene nature. This Police Officer arrested this man on suspicion of committing an offence. He did not make the arrest on the word of one unknown witness as that may not be a lawful arrest. He has arrived at the scene and talked to the suspect. He will have looked at the images and then and only then formed the opinion that an offence may have been committed. At this point the arrest would have been made. The Officer needs to suspect that an offence has taken place and that the suspect is responsible for it before he can carry out the arrest.

Whether the images are obscene or not is not up to the Officer, but a lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service. The witness would not be needed, unless the images appear to be innocent. In that case the Police would like to trace the witness to ascertain exactly how the suspect was behaving as this may lead to other offences, not immediately apparent.

Your last 2 sentences apply, they do not have the witnesses' details and are looking for the her.

My point is simple, there is very little information in the article, too little to assume the person is guilty of taking obscene photos of a child at this point.

Cheers,
Doug
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jonrobertp Forum Pro • Posts: 12,875
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

many police are uninformed...and learn later after the guy is released. They are often doing such stuff.

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Malcolm Turner Senior Member • Posts: 1,343
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

I think here in the UK the term is "indecent" not "obscene". So, for example, shooting up a little girl's skirt is not obscene (assuming she's fullydressed) but it does qualify (I think) as "indecent"

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Dan Marchant Senior Member • Posts: 2,948
Re: Man arrested for taking photographs of children at bus stop.

Doug J wrote:

My point is simple, there is very little information in the article, too little to assume the person is guilty of taking obscene photos of a child at this point.

But no one is assuming that the person is guilty/innocent. No one has even mentioned his guilt. We are discussing what charge he was arrested on, nothing more.

The police have stated that he was arrested on suspicion of taking prohibited photographs of children. There is only one type of photograph of children that is prohibited by UK law - that is indecent/obscene images. So as we have a total of one option to choose from it is perfectly reasonable to assume the reason for the arrest was that the policeman suspected the images were indecent/obscene.

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