Legality of photographing / filming police, traffic cops, people employed by the gov?


Stevenpc

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Aug 8, 2013
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#1
Does anyone know if it's legal to photograph or film police officers, traffic wardens, people employed by the government etc?

For example, at a traffic stop or during any interaction with them?

If so does anyone have a link to the relevant section of the law that clarifies this, either can or not?

Thanks!
 

Nikonzen

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Nov 3, 2014
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#2
Seems like that would be just asking for trouble. I have shot them on the sly.
 

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catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#3
if they are not on duty, you can ask for their permission before filming / photographing them.

if they are on duty, they can stop you and ask you to go away, else you will be charge for obstructing public servant.
 

Nikonzen

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#4
In America the law says you can legally film public servants. Just go and try it nowadays and watch what happens though. They can watch and monitor you but just try to get a snap of them. The USA seems to be becoming more and more evil every day.
 

daredevil123

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#5
In America the law says you can legally film public servants. Just go and try it nowadays and watch what happens though. They can watch and monitor you but just try to get a snap of them. The USA seems to be becoming more and more evil every day.
Too much bad blood between police and some folks... so everyone gets too sensitive
 

Feb 15, 2013
359
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Singapore
#6
In America the law says you can legally film public servants. Just go and try it nowadays and watch what happens though. They can watch and monitor you but just try to get a snap of them. The USA seems to be becoming more and more evil every day.

Ever since the Rodney King incident........?

EisMann
 

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Nikonzen

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#7
Hyper bat crap crazy since 911 but America has really had this gestapo thing going on for much longer.

I would suspect SP wouldn't put up with any such monkey business.

Not to change the subject but apparently there are National Parks in the USA where you must pay to photograph anything. Some folks are saying this is because someone private now owns those parks and is generating revenue from it. That is something else when you can't take pictures unless you pay fee to do so.
 

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Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#8
if they are not on duty, you can ask for their permission before filming / photographing them.
if they are on duty, they can stop you and ask you to go away, else you will be charge for obstructing public servant.
I agree to cases where people stand directly next to an accident scene.
However, shooting a police man from 5m distance can hardly be obstructing, especially when done from a crowd of pedestrians.
 

kandinsky

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Apr 26, 2008
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#9
Does anyone know if it's legal to photograph or film police officers, traffic wardens, people employed by the government etc?

For example, at a traffic stop or during any interaction with them?

If so does anyone have a link to the relevant section of the law that clarifies this, either can or not?

Thanks!
Suppose you can write in to SPF to find out.

Someone in the Public Affairs Department perhaps?

http://app.sgdi.gov.sg/listing.asp?agency_subtype=dept&agency_id=0000000985
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#10
I agree to cases where people stand directly next to an accident scene.
However, shooting a police man from 5m distance can hardly be obstructing, especially when done from a crowd of pedestrians.
Maybe the heads of the police force think that the officers might pose for the photo and neglect to focus on their duties.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#11
[video=youtube;KDuU3bzMZhY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDuU3bzMZhY[/video]
 

yeobt

New Member
May 23, 2007
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#12
why not? dont scare this scare that lah, we can shoot anything as long as you're not obstructing their job.

i shot this in the face of the 2 TP.

 

rhino123

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#14
I am thinking a little bit of common sense come in when photographing policemen. You got to look at the surrounding and what you are taking the photo for. If it is a festive season and people are in light mood and you don't pose any problem or threats to them, I guess it should be alright. And if they approach you and ask you to delete those photos, you do as instructed, then nothing will go wrong.

And if the police stick out his/her hands when you are shooting at him/her, you continue to shoot, then you are asking for it.



For this one, I was right beside him. And he know I am taking photo, he didn't care.

 

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kandinsky

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#15
I don't know how much of a difference it makes, but I think the officers in your photographs look like they may be auxiliary police officers (APOs) from Certis Cisco. The black/white checked pattern on their caps look similar to the ones seen in MrBrown's photo essay on Certis Cisco APOs.

I agree that common sense is a good gauge in normal day-to-day scenarios, but it will still be useful to clarify the actual limits (for both photographers and SPF) so that there's less ambiguity. E.g., In the event that someone is photographing a SPF officer who might be doing something dubious, they can't just abuse their power and get that person to delete whatever they shot under a general "you are interfering with our investigation" warning.

One of the questions that come to mind is "Does a police officer have the right to stop anyone and make them delete any image in their camera? Or do they need a warrant first?", etc...

In general though, I'm sure most of us will have the common sense to comply with the person with a gun, then go back and complain later if we think something was wrong. ;p
 

Octarine

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#16
In the event that someone is photographing a SPF officer who might be doing something dubious, they can't just abuse their power and get that person to delete whatever they shot under a general "you are interfering with our investigation" warning.
Exactly my thoughts, but then you suddenly agree to the opposite:
In general though, I'm sure most of us will have the common sense to comply with the person with a gun, then go back and complain later if we think something was wrong. ;p
The idea of 'authority by uniform or gun' is not acceptable. The authority is given by the law, only. The uniform is to make the executing person visible. But a uniform itself does not yield any power, especially not beyond the range defined by the law.
And before now someone askes me to discuss this with a maniac holding me at point blank: let's keep it within the context stated in the original posting.
 

rhino123

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#17
I don't know how much of a difference it makes, but I think the officers in your photographs look like they may be auxiliary police officers (APOs) from Certis Cisco. The black/white checked pattern on their caps look similar to the ones seen in MrBrown's photo essay on Certis Cisco APOs.

I agree that common sense is a good gauge in normal day-to-day scenarios, but it will still be useful to clarify the actual limits (for both photographers and SPF) so that there's less ambiguity. E.g., In the event that someone is photographing a SPF officer who might be doing something dubious, they can't just abuse their power and get that person to delete whatever they shot under a general "you are interfering with our investigation" warning.

One of the questions that come to mind is "Does a police officer have the right to stop anyone and make them delete any image in their camera? Or do they need a warrant first?", etc...

In general though, I'm sure most of us will have the common sense to comply with the person with a gun, then go back and complain later if we think something was wrong. ;p
Exactly my thoughts, but then you suddenly agree to the opposite:

The idea of 'authority by uniform or gun' is not acceptable. The authority is given by the law, only. The uniform is to make the executing person visible. But a uniform itself does not yield any power, especially not beyond the range defined by the law.
And before now someone askes me to discuss this with a maniac holding me at point blank: let's keep it within the context stated in the original posting.
Well... I admit that I don't know if it is legal or not to take photo of police officers, but I think it is a basic form of courtesy when the officer or anyone else approach you and request that you delete the photo that you have shot of them and you comply with it. Of course it is within your own right that you can refuse the person saying that they do not have any rights to do that, but it certainly is not too courteous when you shoot someone and he/she is not happy about it. But that is just me.
 

kandinsky

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Apr 26, 2008
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#18
Exactly my thoughts, but then you suddenly agree to the opposite:
Nah. What I was trying to express, was that I think most law-abiding citizens are likely to comply with a delete request as the status quo is still ambiguous (to me at least). We are unaware of what our rights are, and what their powers are, with regards to photographing LEOs performing their duties in a public place. Wasn't an endorsement of the situation, or that I think it's acceptable. :)

The idea of 'authority by uniform or gun' is not acceptable. The authority is given by the law, only. The uniform is to make the executing person visible. But a uniform itself does not yield any power, especially not beyond the range defined by the law.
Definitely agree that it's not acceptable. That's why I'm looking forward to ahmad0420's posts.
 

ahmad0420

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Mar 6, 2010
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#20
Hey guys. As mentioned I got in touch with SPF and theyve given me a reply, as follows:

2 Mere photography and videography of police officers are on duty does not constitute any offence. However, members of public should be advised that under Section 38 of the Public Order Act 2009, police officers are empowered to exercise control over photography and videography if the act:

a. Compromises the effective conduct of ongoing law enforcement operations; and/or
b. Endangers or will endanger the safety of law enforcement officers in ongoing law enforcement operations.

3 As such, members of public should be mindful of their conduct during video taking. Any member of public who intentionally obstructs Police officers in the discharge of his public functions will be liable for an offence of Obstructing Public Servant in Discharge of his Public Functions under Section 186 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

4 Members of public should also adhere strictly to regulatory signs that are displayed at gazetted protected areas, places or prohibited areas such as our Police stations. These signs restrict photography and recording of videos around the premises. Police officers may probe into their intent and motive of taking photographs or making the video. They may also direct the member of public to delete the photographs taken in these premises. Failure to comply to these directions constitute an arrestable offence under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act, Chapter 256.

5 SPF seeks the cooperation and understanding of the public when our officers approach them to probe into their intent and motive of taking the photography or making the video.
 

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