A MAN was detained and searched by police after he was caught filming Redditch Police Station this week.
The man, who goes by the alias ‘AB’, claimed he was filming the building for ‘matters of public interest’ when politely questioned by officers.
He continued to film the officers as the search was taking place and later shared the footage to his YouTube channel ‘Auditing Britain’ which aims to prove ‘photography is not a crime’.
AB describes himself as a ‘human rights activist’ that ‘gathers information on what public officials and big corporations do on public property’.
In the video, which amassed over 90,000 views in two days, the YouTuber is told there’s legislation which prevents him from filming police stations.
When officers were unable to cite the relevant legislation he told them: “You’re referring to Section 43 of the Terrorism Act. But it says you need to have reasonable ground to believe a person is a terrorist or about to do something.
“I’m just here today to exercise my right to film in public and I just want to see if Redditch Police Station accepts that as well.”
In the video one officer refuses to give the man his collar number, which AB claims to be illegal.
Safer Neighbourhood Team Chief Inspector, Edward Hancox, said he was aware of the video which has circulated like wildfire on social media.
“Whilst you can legally film in a public place, there are security and safety considerations around filming police buildings,” he said.
“As such, officers rightly spoke to the man filming and conducted a legal search.
“We have reviewed the footage and there are certainly some things that we would expect to have been done better; our officers should make their collar numbers visible and they should give their collar number on request.
“We are disappointed this didn’t happen on this occasion and the officer concerned has been spoken to.”
Inspector Hancox added that no formal action will take place following a review by the Professional Standards Department.
And that advice on handling similar situations in the future has been passed on to all the officers involved.
“Our officers will continue to be proactive in addressing security concerns in and around police premises, which is as much about protecting the public as it is our own workforce.”