Can I record the police without their permission? Yes you can!
The police are aware that the public have the right to record them on duty however; some police, PCSOs and other officials may be unfamiliar with the law and take exception.
The response by the police can be variable from being polite and acknowledging your right to some officers using threats, intimidation and even assault until innocent members of the public shut off their cameras.
If you are someone that is becoming a nuisance to the police they may even target and harass you.
The first video clip is an examples where an officer has been overtly aggressive and either doesn't know or has chosen to ignore the citizen's rights. The second clip is of a you tuber who appears to have been targeted for having a you tube channel highlighting Hampshire police conduct.
Example of overt aggression Example of targeting a citizen
You don’t require a member permission to record or film the police or the public in a public place.
You can also record the police if they come to your home.
This is a video clip of police officers abusing their powers in searching a citizen's home without a search warrant, without the video officers would be able to dispute the complainant's version of events.
Whilst the police may not like you filming; sometimes your footage is useful and evidence of officers conduct. In the first there are various offences by the officers. In the second video, a citizen filmed the police and from other video footage it can be seen that an officer was mistreating a female on the ground who was handcuffed. As a result of his own footage and of others, officers are now under investigation for their conduct.
Unlawful search of citizen's home Man filming on phone pushed over by officer
If a police officer approaches you and asks why you are filming, you do not have to tell them who you are or what you are doing.
However, if you wish to give a reason, remain calm and you can if you wish tell the officers that you are
exercising your right to record in public.
There are some people who go out of of their way to initiate situations which are then published on you tube etc. We don't agree with this for a number of reasons including that you are wasting an officer's time who may be needed elsewhere by someone who needs help.
Do not interfere with ongoing incidents being dealt with by police by putting your mobile phone in their faces. The quality of video and audio on mobile phones is such that you can step back and record discreetly without getting in the way.
Your evidence may be useful if someone is being mistreated but it is also evidence if an officer is being assaulted. If you feel unable physically to help an officer in trouble, consider informing the police of your footage and be a good citizen.
Be polite when dealing with the police and be civil, rise above some of the conduct we see of officers being uncivil to the public.
Police officers are not entitled to examine your phone or delete anything. If this is requested politely refuse. If you have been arrested that is a different matter and they can then seize your phone and examine it if necessary.
Any member of the police or public that physically grabs at you or your camera in an attempt to stop you filming could be liable to a charge of assault. Anyone that threatens or intimidates you into putting away your camera could be liable to a charge of harassment or assault, physical contact does not have to be made.
If you need further information please contact us but remember just because you can record the police don't assume that you will not be arrested. Remember your own conduct including any bad language will be captured and will not look good if you decide to complain at a later stage.
If you continually follow police officers or a member of the public up and down the road filming at close range whilst goading or in a manner that could be construed as a harassment you may be arrested.
Your video evidence could be very useful, contact us and we will make sure it is handled in the right way so that it is not tampered with or destroyed and can be admitted in evidence in a criminal case if required.
Don't assume that the police know the law, the following you tube clip brought to our attention is of a Hampshire police officer,it is slightly amusing, watch it through to the end.