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Photographing police will cease to be a crime unless officers’ safety are ‘demonstrably’ at risk
11 February 2019 @ 13:11

A REFORM of the controversial public safety legislation known colloquially as ‘the gagging law’ means taking photographs or videos of police officers only attracts a fine if the act of doing so puts them or other people at risk.

The law brought into force by the previous PP-led government meant filming or photographing police in the course of duty could lead to hefty fines, running into thousands of euros, on the grounds that it may compromise officers’ security.

These grounds have been successfully used to fine peaceful protesters, and Amnesty International warned Spain against its application since it meant in the event of police taking their authority too far – something they were accused of throughout the disputed independence referendum election day in Catalunya in October 2017 – victims would be unable to obtain proof and would be unlikely to achieve justice.

Cases of police officers ordering members of the public to delete pictures and videos, on pain of arrest, were not unknown.

Now, however, the new left-wing socialist government has stipulated that the officer in question must be able to demonstrate a clear risk to his or her personal safety or integrity, or that of his or her family.



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