Dave Gorman's Brush With The Law (Via Flickr)

By Rob Last edited 149 months ago
Dave Gorman's Brush With The Law (Via Flickr)
Battersea Power Station and Grosvenor Bridge

Those of you who dip into, or even contribute to, our Flickr group may have noticed the presence of comedian Dave Gorman amongst the regular contributors. We've even used a couple of his images in the Extra, Extra from time to time (including this one of the Sinner/Winner preacher just a couple of weeks ago).

A couple of days ago Dave uploaded the image above of Battersea Power Station to his account and included it in a number of London-related groups including ours.

The shot is pretty good, but what's more interesting is Gorman's attached story which tells of how he was stopped by two police officers just after taking it, and 'searched' under the Prevention of Terrorism Act:

"Have you go any ID?"

"Yeah," I said, handing her my driver's licence... "what do you need that for?"

"If we stop anyone under the Prevention of Terrorism Act we have to fill in some paperwork. Do you have any possessions?"

I pointed at my bike with a bag on the panier.

"Just that," I said.

"Okay... well, even looking through your camera constitues a search so we have to fill in the form."

She started filling in Form 5090: Stops and Searches.

"It's a beautiful building," said her colleague. "The thing is, we're in Central London and we have to be really careful these days. I like your shots though... very nice. What do you do with them?"

"Nothing really," I said. "I'll probably put a couple of them on a website."

"Right. What website is that then?"


"Oh flickr!" said the WPC, stopping her form-filling for a moment. "I've got photos on there. Photos of my wedding from 7 weeks ago."

"Really?" I asked. "It's good isn't it? Oh... and congratulations on 7 weeks ago."

"Thanks," she said with a smile. "So... have you ever been arrested?"

"Err.... no"

You can read the rest yourself on the Flickr page, but suffice to say that Dave's experience was a "surprisingly friendly and untroubled exchange,", and we thought that was probably worth mentioning when so much of the terrorism and Met-related news these days isn't quite as warm and fuzzy.

If you've had any similar experiences with the police while taking pictures of the city do get in touch and let us know what happened.

Last Updated 12 September 2006