‘Watch The Birdie!’

July 28, 2011 6 Comments
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…but don’t, whatever you do, watch the men dealing with the birdies!

Hertfordshire police officers told a photographer he would could be sued thousands of pounds for taking picturesof his neighbour’s garden.Simon Richardson took pictures of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) employees who were working next door while he stood in the street.

Just hours later, Mr Richardson says he was visited by the police, who told him under privacy laws he could be sued thousands of pounds.

Clearly, they’ve learned that threatening him with arrest under the Anti-Terrorism laws brings unwelcome publicity, so they tried this tactic instead.

Or, maybe not:

He was also warned that if the pictures were to later appear in a newspaper, the police would become “officially involved”.

Oh, really? I thought that was only if he hacked someone’s voicemail, and then only to collect their fee!

It is, of course, nonsense:

After the confrontation in May, Mr Richardson consulted a barrister who told him the police had no business telling him he could be sued, as this would be a civil and not criminal matter.

Quite. The police are hastily rowing back now it’s come to the attention of the media:

Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Morehen (Ed: SNORK!) said: “The officers were called there to prevent a breach of the peace and whilst there gave advice to the householder about taking photos – there was no threat to be sued by the Constabulary.

“We’re sorry for any confusion caused with Mr Richardson and I invite him to contact me should he wish to discuss this matter further.”

Comments, as always in local news reports, are rather interesting…

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6 Responses to ‘Watch The Birdie!’

  1. Robert Edwards
    July 28, 2011 at 7:24 am

    From where do you dig this stuff up? Frankly, I’m not surprised at the conduct of the plods – it is to be expected, after all and a great too many of them are little more than gangsters in uniform.

    • July 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

      From where do you dig this stuff up?

      This lady has a wide net methinks.

      • July 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

        Local newspapers, mostly :)

    • John Goodman
      July 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

      Some undoubtable are gangsters in uniform but the real problem is that they are poorly educated and lack commonsense or initiative. Being a police officer is, for most, an alternative job to stacking shelves in a supermarket or serving burgers in a fast-food outlet.

      They are part of the yellow day-glo jacket jobsworth fraternity who can be found throughout the UK in shopping centres, carparks, train stations, etc who make up for their social inadequacies by hiding behind authority to hassle and inconvenience other people going about their daily business.

      • July 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

        They are part of the yellow day-glo jacket jobsworth fraternity who can be found throughout the UK in shopping centres, carparks, train stations, etc who make up for their social inadequacies by hiding behind authority to hassle and inconvenience other people going about their daily business.

        LOL! Wonderful.

  2. July 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

    If it can be readily seen from a public place it is not private and can be photographed perfectly legally.

    A firm “not your concern” is the appropriate response to plod as no law had been broken.

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