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policecameraWe're used to the "normal" practice of CCTV surveillance and logging car registration numbers, as well as the MoD police's regular - but often bizarre - "welfare vists", but since about March, camp has been under increasing surveillance by the MoD police. Following some incredibly invasive photography of women at the May camp, we decided to lodge a complaint against this apparent policy, and the retention of such photographs, on the basis that it breached our rights, in particular Article 8. Here's an extract from the complaint:

"As decided by the Court of Appeal in Tabernacle [2009] EWCA 23 camping at AWE Aldermaston, on MOD land, is lawful.  In the case no one disputed that Articles 10, 11 and 8 ECHR were involved.

For at least the last 3 months women at the monthly camp have been subjected to photographing and videoing by MDP officers.  Sometimes the photographing is done from a distance; sometimes it is done with the officer standing close to individual women, or standing within feet of women gathered together.  This is felt to be intimidating and intended as harassment.

On the afternoon of Saturday May 8th, Officer xxxx was photographing women with a long lens camera from a few feet away.  He stated that the photography was carried out at the request “of inspectors and the chief inspector” for “intelligence purposes”.  Women were informed all photos were logged onto a database and that they could obtain copies from the SPO at a price. 

It was suggested he look up R(Wood) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009] EWCA civ 414. Whilst the Court of Appeal in Wood stated that it might well be lawful to take photographs of members of the public, this should be for legitimate purposes under Art 8(2) - such as for the prevention of crime.  However the court held it was unlawful to retain those photos once it was established no crime had been committed.

We therefore wish you to confirm that after each monthly camp all photos taken of women are destroyed unless it is established a crime has been committed, and that any photo retained is necessary for the investigation and prosecution of the crime."

so far, we've just received the attached holding reply