Freedom to Photograph
(PINAC) Photography is Not a Crime
There are still many police, security staff and members of the public that do not understand that photography in a public space is not a crime and does not constitute a breach of the new Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR), so long as the images are not being used to record, learn or decide something about the individuals in the picture. A 'public space' is defined in Section 33 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972. Whilst there is no legal requirement for snappers to account for their actions or provide any personal details to other members of the public, security staff or the police, I would respectfully suggest that they explain, whatever they can see, they can snap in a public space as there is no expectation of privacy.
Prior permission should be sought to take pictures on private property which includes railway stations and, some privately owned bus stations and shopping centres. Trespassing on private property is not a criminal offence but a civil matter and the police can only get involved where the trespass becomes aggrevated as defined in Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
However trespassing on 'Protected' sites is a criminal offence and those places are defined in Sections 128-131 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
Taking pictures on railway property which is governed by Railway Byelaws is generally covered by National Rail - Guidelines for Rail Enthusiasts.
Flying and taking of pictures with drones is governed by The Drone and Model Aircraft Code and in essence if your drone weighs less than 250 grammes you can pretty much fly it anywhere so long as there is not airspace restrictions.
Last Updated, 03/03/2022