You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Metroplitan Police’ tag.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 15.06.08. A Metropolitan Police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) photographer films and photographs journalists as police and protesters clash during a demonstration against U.S President George W Bush in Parliament Square, Westminster on Sunday 15 June 2008, London, England. Protesters had been banned by the Metropolitan Police from demonstrating outside 10 Downing Street to protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo by Marc Vallée/marcvallee.co.uk) (c) Marc Vallée, 2008.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 15.06.08. A Metropolitan Police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) photographer films and photographs journalists as police and protesters clash during a demonstration against U.S President George W Bush in Parliament Square, Westminster on Sunday 15 June 2008, London, England. Protesters had been banned by the Metropolitan Police from demonstrating outside 10 Downing Street to protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (c) Marc Vallée, 2008. http://www.marcvallee.co.uk

After reading this phenomenal post by Jamblichus about state surveillance and electorate apathy/powerlessness in the UK, I was compelled to post the above image.

I know for two posts now in as many days I have diverged from “photography in sites of incarceration”, but this topic keeps throwing up unanswered questions.

Forward Intelligence Teams , introduced in 1996, are now central to British policing of all public crowd events. F.I.T.s don’t try to hide. They are highly visible and operate use facial recognition technology to add folk on camera to a central database.

Jamblichus raises a really important question about this. What is the nature of this database? We should all be asking these questions: Under who’s authority is the database maintained. Which government departments have access to it?

Local councils in Britain have used anti-terrorism legislation to spy on its citizens for minor infractions. What is to stop similar abuse with regard this database? The UK has built a police state infrastructure and no-one is immune to its effects should the cameras and mics be pointed their way.

Is the British Press “free” in all definitions of the term? I think not.

I am probably in the database due to my interest in a seal-hunting protest outside the Canadian Embassy of London last year. I went over to have a peek and a natter, mainly because I was shocked that anyone would want to picket Canada! When I turned to continue on my way, I had two long-range lens pointing at me.

Jamblichus points us to The Journalist which describes the Met’s purposeful surveillance of the press;

Police tactics seem to be becoming more menacing. Photographers have complained that the Metropolitan Police’s Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) — set up to target public disorder and anti-social behaviour by having high-visibility police officers use camera and video footage to gather intelligence — has started surveillance of press-card carrying journalists. They say that images of them are given a four-figure “photographic reference number” and held on a database.

I’d really like to know when they’ll need 5 digits or more!…. While we wait on that you can look over the Flickr group FITWatch.

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

Prison Photography Archives

Post Categories