Innocent photographer films own 'anti-terror' arrest outside Yorkshire police station

A photographer was arrested by police under the Terrorism Act for filming outside a police station in Normanton.
A photographer was arrested by police under the Terrorism Act for filming outside a police station in Normanton.
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An innocent photographer arrested under suspicion of terrorism for filming outside a Yorkshire police station captured the whole incident on his camera.

The photographer was filming outside the West Yorkshire Police Wakefield District Headquarters in Normanton, when he was arrested by officers on suspicion of preparing an act of terror.

The man claims he was kept in the back of a police patrol car for an hour, before being taken into custody for another hour, where he was told he would then be transferred to a counter terrorism suite.

After an anxious wait he was then told he was free to leave and no charges were made.

The man - who did not want to be named but gave his photography name as Current Climate - said: "I just couldn't believe it all.

"I had identified myself to the police officer and they had obviously checked this on their systems and I had come back all clean.

"I was just a normal guy with a job like everyone else.

"I am married and have kids and there I was being arrested for an offence that can carry life imprisonment."

The man had chosen to film outside the police station for a piece on the difficulties photographers across the country face surrounding laws on filming on public land.

The law states it is legal to photograph or videotape anything and anyone on any public property, within reasonable community standards.

The photographer had set up his camera outside the station in Normanton on March 19, when an officer in a patrol car approached him to ask what he was doing.

The photographer's footage then films the exchange between him and the police officer.

The police officer in the car is then seen to call for other officers to attend when the photographer says he can not reveal why he is there to film.

After further exchanges, the photographer is then arrested under the Terrorism Act and put into the back of the police patrol car.

He said: "I was in the back of the car for about an hour and I was then taken into the custody holding area.

"The custody sergeant said he was going to speak to the detective inspector about taking me to the counter terrorism suite on his return.

"I just found the whole thing incredulous.

"One minute I was just doing my job and the next minute I was in custody for being a terrorist threat, it was unbelievable.

"When the officer returned and said I was free to leave, I just couldn't wait to get out of there."

The man, from West Yorkshire, contacted the Yorkshire Post to raise awareness of the challenges photographers across the country are facing when it comes to taking pictures on public land.

He said:"I am sick and tired of photographers being arrested for just doing their job.

"There is an element of people out there who criticise us. I am not doing this to be strange or an oddball with a grudge, there are valid reasons. Photography is not a crime.

"We are individuals with everyday lives outside our channels."

The photographer is now planning to take legal action against West Yorkshire Police following the incident.

A force spokeswoman said: "The video was brought to our attention by a third party.

"We have reviewed the incident including speaking to the officers involved."