Ban on photographing police angers taxi chief
TAXI mogul John Preece has warned his drivers not to photograph police officers because a new law says people snapping bobbies can face 10 years in jail.
The Taxifast chairman described Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act as 'very dangerous' and said it had created an 'unhealthy police state'.
He told The Herald: "It sends a shiver down my spine."
In a strongly-worded editorial in this week's Taxifast News Bulletin, circulated to about 500 Plymouth staff, he argued that his firm and other taxi drivers needed to take photos of police for "legitimate reasons".
But he is now warning his drivers to avoid including police officers in any photos they take at traffic accident scenes.
Mr Preece also admitted that "the Taxifast office have taken many operational photos of policemen over the years".
He said this included pictures of police officers parked on double yellow lines, of police radar traps "operated in an over enthusiastic scenario", and of an officer examining an illegal bald tyre.
Mr Preece wrote: "Is it now illegal for us to challenge the police and provide photographic evidence of their law-breaking?"
He continued: "We should all ask, what is going on in OUR country?
"What will prospective visitors from abroad think when they find out you cannot photograph a police officer without committing a criminal offence?"
From last week , anyone taking a photograph of a police officer could be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.