Battle of the Beaches

11th June, 2010

Poole Council has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown over it’s policy restricting photography on beaches after condemnation from photographers up and down the country.

Amateur Photographer reports a fortnight after Hattie Miles, Bournemouth Echo photographer and NUJ member was prevented from photographing on the beach by a beach warden on the grounds that she did not have a licence. The council has now clarified its position:

We have reaffirmed the guidance given to beach wardens and they have been advised not to approach photographers and film-makers unless their activities present a risk to public safety or are likely to cause serious offence, disruption or obstruction to other beach users.

This is a victory for common sense and press freedom. Hattie should be applauded for highlighting the issue and not allowing council bureaucracy to dictate what the media can and cannot photograph.

Photographers, amateur and professional are simply fed up with arbitrary restrictions and will defend our right to use a camera in any public place without being harassed.

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