Statement re: actions of some photographers during police protection operations
The covert actions of photographers have at times caused concerns during police protection operations when they have been considered a possible security threat.
Our role is to maintain security and there is a risk to those who choose to use covert tactics when a police operation is in place.
At a time when the national security threat level from international terrorism is at severe, all officers are at a heightened level of readiness.
Officers involved in the security of protected people are armed and have to constantly assess security risks. Photographers using covert tactics often come to the attention of armed officers who take steps to stop and verify the details of those who raise suspicions. Photographers are potentially putting themselves at risk from armed intervention where our armed officers perceive a risk to the personal safety of their principal, the public and themselves.
When assessing potential threats armed officers have to make split second decisions regarding their use of force in order to protect their principals, the public and their colleagues.
Whilst the majority of photographers work responsibly we would ask those that choose to use covert tactics to consider their actions in light of this potential risk.