Why shouldn’t police take photos during a protest?

Police photograph protesters at the 350 Aotearoa climate change protest outside Parliament on Tuesday.

MAARTEN HOLL/ FAIRFAX NZ Police photograph protesters at the 350 Aotearoa climate change protest outside Parliament on Tuesday.

People take photos in public of people they don’t even know all the time. Only the other day on a walk with Cam a man was taking photos of the beach with us in the foreground. If police are taking photos during a protest to record who was there they have every right to do so. Journalists take photos of the police during protests all the time and often use them to try to claim police brutality or heavy-handedness and the public is fine with that. If it is okay for the public and for journalists to take photos of what the police are up to during a protest march then where do these plonkers get off complaining that the police were taking photos of them?

Why were police taking photos of a peaceful, lawful protest in Wellington?A police photographer taking pictures of climate change protesters outside Parliament has sparked concern about state surveillance undermining the lawful right to protest.

Green MP Gareth Hughes, who was at the protest organised by climate group 350 Aotearoa, said he had never before seen police taking pictures of protesters at Parliament.

“Many people would want to know why they are taking photos,” he said.

As police cameras watched on, 350 Aotearoa climate change protesters and other groups demonstrated by throwing water ...

MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ As police cameras watched on, 350 Aotearoa climate change protesters and other groups demonstrated by throwing water bombs at a Trump effigy.

Ironically the article that recorded this complaint about photos contained two photos taken by journalists. The photos taken and published by the media are going to be viewed by far more people than the ones taken by the police so privacy wise they don’t have a leg to stand on.

As police cameras watched on, 350 Aotearoa climate change protesters and other groups demonstrated by throwing water bombs at a Trump effigy.

In a statement, police said there could be a number of operational reasons why images could be taken at a public event.

“Examples may include where it is considered there could be illegal or criminal activity, so as to provide an accurate evidential record of the events should this be required later.

I think that police with cameras or video are a great idea as they will act as a preventative measure. If protesters know that their criminal acts of violence or damage to public property are likely to be recorded by the police and used in evidence against them they will be less likely to cross the line. In fact, I think they should become a common tool for those employed to provide security for public speakers. Protesters may be keen to throw a dildo at a politicians face in front of media cameras but may not be so keen to do it in front of police cameras.

“If there is no evidence of any offending, the images are deleted.”

If protesters acting lawfully felt they were being monitored by the state, it could discourage dissent.

What a load of rubbish. The only thing they will discourage is criminal acts.

That was the case when charges were dropped earlier this year after members of Peace Action Wellington were arrested outside an arms industry conference in 2015.

“The recording of these events, if they’re done in a fair way, can be good,” Bott said.

Protester and climate change expert Professor Ralph Chapman said the police actions were odd, unnecessary and out of step with the democratic nature of New Zealanders.

 – Stuff


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

41%