Paranoia is the word of the day anymore. This story was brought to my attention thanks to Susanna Raab at Look Underfoot. It seems street photography is a threatened art in Britain, where amateur photographers are harassed left and right for being terrorists or pedophiles.
The police had the film developed and returned the pictures to him later that day, acknowledging that they were entirely innocuous. They also admitted that there had been no complaint from the public; they had stopped Carroll because they thought he was taking pictures of children. Carroll lodged a complaint with the local station. ‘The superintendent at Humberside police got in touch and was very sympathetic. But he still claimed that his officers had behaved correctly and at times of heightened security we have to accept less freedom for our own good.’
That last line is particularly chilling.
I’m going to go look at my Cartier-Bresson book now.