I want to share my experience and seek your opinions on it.
Two years ago at Geylang Serai during the Hari Raya period. I was with some of the members of my photographic society then on an outing. The decorations on an overhead bridge was burnt then. A group of fireman and policeman was around then to remove the burnt objects from the bridge. Never seen firemen in action before (bright red fire-engines, ladders and all), I set up my tripod (it was evening time and the lighting is too dim for the telephoto shot) and wanted to try to capture the red men in action.
One of the policemen approached us and asked us which publication were we from. After telling him that we were just hobbists, he said that we could not take photographs and demanded that we hand over the films. He even asked for my IC and copied down my particulars.
After convincing him that we had not taken any shots (I did not and showed him my camera that it is still at frame 1), and copying my particulars, he let us off.
Questions I would like to pose is
1. Just wondering are we able to take photographs of civil forces in action.
2. Does the policeman has the right to demand our films and record our particulars?
Like to add that we were quite close to the action, but outside of their area of operation. Neither were we in the way of their operation nor did we pose any safety / security hazard to them or the public...
1. To my knowledge, there is no law against such photography.
2. The policeman have no rights to demand your property or record particulars unless you have committed something...
(then again, I suspect the "record particulars" method is partly to scare Singaporeans only. When S'poreans hear record particular, they start to fear some punishments, even for things not committed...this instill psychological deterrent. Police use this method to scare off people when they have no legal power to stop certain things.)
But then we're in Singapore, there's always ISA. No need to do anything, just make some people irritated and off you go to offshore island for the rest of your productive life...
Civil Defence has no right, but Military can exercise the right for you to hand over the film, but can only be done by law enforcement officers aka the Police. I had an Uncle who took a picture of a military building in Japan without knowing it was a military building and the next minute he was arrested and was questioned for an hour in Japan. He was discharged after they are convinced that he is just a tourist.
Originally posted by Bean Like to add that we were quite close to the action, but outside of their area of operation. Neither were we in the way of their operation nor did we pose any safety / security hazard to them or the public...
Brings to thought the Esplanade and it's restrictions too. Is it still restricted?
I never attempted photography inside but I was asked not to take any shots of one of the performances outside during the opening celebrations. or could it be that the performers requested that? I still don't get why I couldn't take the shots that time.. anyone got idea?