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Thread: Any legal issues regarding photography of a traffic accident?

  1. #21

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay
    i don't know about singapore. But there are attachments for cameras (canon IIRC) to prove the authencity of the digital photo. Else only flim is admissable in court.

    Go read up the Constituition. It's thick but it states your rights and obligations as Singaporean. Be glad we have a writen one.

    I doubt anyone can give a clear cut answer whether you did was right or wrong. There's just not enough transparency in law enforcement.
    so what we have a written Constitution? i can't imagine having it in any other form. what counts is respecting the Constitution, in practice. talk is cheap!
    Last edited by reachme2003; 26th May 2005 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #22
    vince123123
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    I have just received anectodal evidence from speaking to someone in the police force.

    Apparently some time ago, an accident happened involving a student in a school. A photographer was taking photos of the scene. A duty policeman on the scene informed him to stop but he continued. An off duty VSC police officer (ASP rank) who was a teacher at the school then came to intervene. He told the photographer to stop but he refused again. The VSC officer then covered his lens. The photographer had no choice but to leave.

    The Photographer wrote to MOE and PAD to complain. After investigations, the PAD said the VSC officer should not have done what he did and informed the VSC that his term will not be renewed.

    Apparently a circular was also sent to all police officers on the ground about the incident.

    The above again supports my submission that taking photographs of the accident scene is not against the law. When in doubt, just take the particulars of the officer and see if he rises up to the challenge.

  3. #23
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    ho say liao... think i will bring around a nice camera to take everywhere i go...

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    ask for his name/rank and ID no.
    This works with a lot of government employees not just mata

  5. #25

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    what if the photographer in question was charged for 'not obeying the lawful instruction/s of a police officer on duty'? what would be the possible defence/s available to him, in the scenario the thread starter was in?.
    still no answer meh?

  6. #26

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    I have just received anectodal evidence from speaking to someone in the police force.

    Apparently some time ago, an accident happened involving a student in a school. A photographer was taking photos of the scene. A duty policeman on the scene informed him to stop but he continued. An off duty VSC police officer (ASP rank) who was a teacher at the school then came to intervene. He told the photographer to stop but he refused again. The VSC officer then covered his lens. The photographer had no choice but to leave.

    The Photographer wrote to MOE and PAD to complain. After investigations, the PAD said the VSC officer should not have done what he did and informed the VSC that his term will not be renewed.

    Apparently a circular was also sent to all police officers on the ground about the incident.

    The above again supports my submission that taking photographs of the accident scene is not against the law. When in doubt, just take the particulars of the officer and see if he rises up to the challenge.
    my sense is that that VSC officer was not duly authorised or not on duty to do what he did. however, the policeman on duty had instructed the photographer to stop taking photos. continuing to take may constitute as not obeying the lawful instructions. was action taken against the photographer in this respect? if not, why?

  7. #27
    vince123123
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    Perhaps you could point me to the specific law or regulation which states that it is an offence not to "obey the lawful instructions" of a police officer so I can check this up further.

    From what I heard, the factor that he was not on duty was not a determining factor. And no action was taken against the photographer because (as I deduce), he did nothing wrong.

    Imagine this, if a police officer come up to you in a food court and tell you that you cannot eat your plate of chicken rice (no reasons given), and you think he's a nutcase because there is obviously nothing wrong with that, and you continue, going by your theory, you will be put in jail because you did not obey his instruction? This is of course an extreme example.

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    my sense is that that VSC officer was not duly authorised or not on duty to do what he did. however, the policeman on duty had instructed the photographer to stop taking photos. continuing to take may constitute as not obeying the lawful instructions. was action taken against the photographer in this respect? if not, why?

  8. #28

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    Really if it's a public place then it doesn't matter. Lawful instruction is only lawful if the instruction is in accordance with the law, and not because a servant of the law gives the instruction.

    I was taking videos of planes at changi runway and was stopped by the police patrol after a short low speed car chase, like 30 kmph I didn't know you could get a permit to take videos in the area. But anyhow i spent 20 minutes with the patrol and another 30 minutes with the inspector of the day at the HQ. In the end i still kept my vid and never gave it up. The official line i got is they're all public spaces so you can keep what you shoot, but under the law, you are required to display your ic to the police if requested or at a place appointed by the officer. What they cannot do is take away your property without reason.

    But as a courtesy, must be respectful of the people you're shooting.

  9. #29

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    Perhaps you could point me to the specific law or regulation which states that it is an offence not to "obey the lawful instructions" of a police officer so I can check this up further.

    From what I heard, the factor that he was not on duty was not a determining factor. And no action was taken against the photographer because (as I deduce), he did nothing wrong.

    Imagine this, if a police officer come up to you in a food court and tell you that you cannot eat your plate of chicken rice (no reasons given), and you think he's a nutcase because there is obviously nothing wrong with that, and you continue, going by your theory, you will be put in jail because you did not obey his instruction? This is of course an extreme example.
    i remembered reading it somewhere. let me look for it if i can find it.

    yes, yours is an extreme example. however, if the fork which one was using to eat was suspected to originate from a crime scene, then the whole situation could turn against one by not obeying. the key word here is 'lawful' instructions. otherwise, it is quite clear a case of 'abused' authority.

  10. #30
    vince123123
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    ok, we'll wait for your references then.

    On your 2nd para, the point is the same, as you said the officer must be doing something lawful. If taking photographs is not against the law, how can the officer be consdiered to be acting lawfully by preventing you from doing something which is not illegal in the first place?

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    i remembered reading it somewhere. let me look for it if i can find it.

    yes, yours is an extreme example. however, if the fork which one was using to eat was suspected to originate from a crime scene, then the whole situation could turn against one by not obeying. the key word here is 'lawful' instructions. otherwise, it is quite clear a case of 'abused' authority.

  11. #31

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    ok, we'll wait for your references then.

    On your 2nd para, the point is the same, as you said the officer must be doing something lawful. If taking photographs is not against the law, how can the officer be consdiered to be acting lawfully by preventing you from doing something which is not illegal in the first place?
    ok. let me provide a scenario. like chan family vs neighbours of joo chiat. one usual squabbles between them, police were called. one party was in the act of agitating the other by pointing a camera and taking photos of the other. a policeman instructed the 'photographer' to stop taking photos. if the 'photographer' refuses to stop, what avenues are open to the policeman?

  12. #32
    vince123123
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    I'll wait for your references first in order to provide an informed view.

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    ok. let me provide a scenario. like chan family vs neighbours of joo chiat. one usual squabbles between them, police were called. one party was in the act of agitating the other by pointing a camera and taking photos of the other. a policeman instructed the 'photographer' to stop taking photos. if the 'photographer' refuses to stop, what avenues are open to the policeman?

  13. #33

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    i remembered reading it somewhere. let me look for it if i can find it.

    yes, yours is an extreme example. however, if the fork which one was using to eat was suspected to originate from a crime scene, then the whole situation could turn against one by not obeying. the key word here is 'lawful' instructions. otherwise, it is quite clear a case of 'abused' authority.
    sorry, i cannot find it. i may be from SAWL(singapore assoc of women lawyers) 's law and you series.

  14. #34
    vince123123
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    are you referring to the green and white book?
    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    sorry, i cannot find it. i may be from SAWL(singapore assoc of women lawyers) 's law and you series.

  15. #35

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    are you referring to the green and white book?
    cannot be sure what it looked like.

  16. #36
    vince123123
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    well I guess in the absence of any conclusive reference that it is an offence not to obey the lawful instructions of a police officer, we will have to, until otherwise shown, defer your question on the following.

    what if the photographer in question was charged for 'not obeying the lawful instruction/s of a police officer on duty'? what would be the possible defence/s available to him, in the scenario the thread starter was in?.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay
    i don't know about singapore. But there are attachments for cameras (canon IIRC) to prove the authencity of the digital photo. Else only flim is admissable in court.

    Go read up the Constituition. It's thick but it states your rights and obligations as Singaporean. Be glad we have a writen one.

    I doubt anyone can give a clear cut answer whether you did was right or wrong. There's just not enough transparency in law enforcement.
    Was it the Canon 1Ds which put a serial number with the photograph to show that it has not being altered?

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by wainism
    sounds abit like my accident a year ago.

    i believe that u have the right to take photos BUT according to my friend who was in the police force during his NS days(ord 2003). he told me that digital images are not allowed as evidence. i dunno how true is that.

    OT abit:
    actually where can go and read abt our rights in singapore?
    Digital images cannot be accepted as evidence because it can be edited with CS etc. In an accident or murder case the will be usually 2 photographers. One is a Black and White photographer on the other hand a Colour Photographer. Then they will have to send the film roll to a allocated developer and escorted by police then the picture will be catalogue as evidence.

  19. #39

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by eshotstudio
    Digital images cannot be accepted as evidence because it can be edited with CS etc. In an accident or murder case the will be usually 2 photographers. One is a Black and White photographer on the other hand a Colour Photographer. Then they will have to send the film roll to a allocated developer and escorted by police then the picture will be catalogue as evidence.
    what is a allocated developer?

    does it mean SOC will have two film-based photographers?
    Last edited by reachme2003; 28th May 2005 at 03:14 PM.

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