Letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
cc’d Mayors Office & City Hall Press Office
The National Union of Journalists, London Photographers’ Branch notes with great concern the proposed introduction of new byelaws covering Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square. We are specifically concerned with the restrictions on press photography in these areas without prior written consent:
“Acts within the Square for which written permission is required: take photographs or film or make any other recordings of visual images for the purpose of or in connection with a business, trade, profession or employment or any activity carried on by a person or body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate.”
This is wholly unacceptable to our members and we are protesting in the strongest terms against this infringement on our right to photograph in a public place.
We are also alarmed by the prospect of fines, “forfeiture of any item seized under bylaw” and giving security guards/heritage wardens the power to demand names and addresses. The production of a UKPCA press card should be sufficient to establish a journalists identity.
These GLA proposals are impractical and if enforced will have a massive impact on news gathering and press freedom. We urge you to consider our objections.
Jess Hurd (London Photographers’ Branch Chair)