Wed, 05 Mar 2008

It's March, this year let's arrest photographers

In March last year, the Met launched a counter-terrorism ad campaign. I wrote about it exactly a year this week: Not enough innocents arrested, let's do an ad campaign. These were some of the posters from last year's campaign:

CT 2007 ad campaignCT 2007 ad campaign

A year later, a new campaign is launched at the tail end of February, and friends sent me links (thank you) to Thomas Hawk's blog post and Flicker thread titled London's Metropolitan Police Launches Anti Photography Propaganda Campaign, as well as doctored images by email. What's changed? Not much. The Police are still asking untrained people to ‘look out for the unusual’. Most foreigners have different customs, hence have ‘some activity or behaviour [...] not quite right and out of place in their normal day to day lives.’ Either you conform or you should be reported.

Here are some of this year's posters:

CT 2008 ad campaign CT 2008 ad campaign

This year, the poster are simpler and more focused, and phones and cameras get the limelight. As more and more phones are camera-phones, soon one poster will suffice. When I was arrested I somehow had only one phone on me, but when they searched my flat the Police could admire my phone collection: several bowls and drawers full of phones. People working in the mobile phone industry routinely carry several and collect many phones. Photographers do the same with cameras and are harassed.

Going after the techies (and keeping their DNA) will not make us any safer.

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