Photographer films his own ‘anti-terror’ arrest


Paul Lewis
The Guardian
February 22, 2010

Bob Patefield used his video camera to record the moment police stopped him from taking photographs of Accrington town centre. He shows how the police claims he was engaging in anti-social behaviour led to his arrest.

Police questioned an amateur photographer under anti-terrorist legislation and later arrested him, claiming pictures he was taking in a Lancashire town were “suspicious” and constituted “antisocial behaviour”.

Footage recorded on a video camera by Bob Patefield, a former paramedic, shows how police approached him and a fellow photography enthusiast in Accrington town centre. They were told they were being questioned under the Terrorism Act.

Senior police officers last year promised to scale back the use of anti-terrorist legislation such as Section 44 of the act, which deals with photographers, after a series of high-profile cases in which photographers said they had been harassed by police for taking innocuous images in the street.

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