The UK’s Guardian reports more than 5,000 security guards in London’s financial district have been instructed by police to report people taking photographs, recording footage or even making sketches near buildings, the Guardian has learned.
City of London police’s previously unseen advice singles out people who may appear to be “legitimate tourists” to prevent reconnaissance by al-Qaida.
The document, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, helps explain a number of recent cases in which photographers have been stopped and searched by police using section 44 of the Terrorism Act, after first being approached by security guards.
There has been concern over the misuse of section 44, which allows officers to stop and search anyone without need for suspicion in designated areas. It has been repeatedly used to question tourists, photographers and film-makers. Cases have also been documented where artists have been stopped from painting in the street.