On From The Archive: Monday 16 February 2009: Hundreds of photographers and journalists gathered outside New Scotland Yard in London, in a media event to draw attention to the introduction of the new 2008 Counter Terrorism Act, specifically Section 76 that makes it a criminal offence to release information (including photographs or video) on armed service personnel and the police.
Concerns by journalists and amateur photographers were the use of existing terror laws, such as Section 44 stop-and-search, were used to curb public photography and with the introduction of Section 76 things would only get worse, leading to further restrictions on the press covering political protest and public order incidents.
At the time the Home Office gave no assurances that the law would not be used against journalists.
The new law came in as public order Supt David Hartshorn declared 2009 to be the “summer of rage” and ex-MI5 head Stella Rimington calling the UK a “police state”.
Since the making of this film, S76 was incorporated into Section 58a of the Terrorism Act.
SD footage available for ww.reportdigital.co.uk.
© Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital.co.uk