A Suffolk photographer was prevented by police from taking pictures at a Christmas lights switch on reports Amateur Photographer.
Phil Smith has lodged a formal complaint against Suffolk Police after an officer stopped him taking pictures from a spectator area in front of Ipswich Town Hall.
The amateur photographer had been hoping to take some pictures of the main event – which included a visit from Cinderella and Postman Pat but was thwarted when a policewoman spotted him in the crowd taking pictures prior to the lights being turned on.
According to Mr Smith the officer approached him asking: ‘Have you got a licence to use the camera?’
‘She said there was an official photographer at the event and I had to stop taking photographs,’ he told Amateur Photographer .
‘I was taken behind the barriers – and down an alleyway – to fill in an Encounter & Stop/Search Record form. I found this very degrading as it looked as if I had been arrested.’
The police form – according to the report – cites the reason for the stop as: ‘taking photographs of the crowd at Xmas lights’; and ‘unauthorised photography’. No actual search was carried out.
Following enquiries Suffolk police released a statement, which read: ‘We have not had the opportunity to consult with the officers concerned and obtain their version of events.
However, it would appear that on the evidence presented that the officers may have been overzealous in the execution of their duty.’