Snappers slam Canary Wharf photography laws

A photography activist group slammed “insidious” security at Canary Wharf at a flash mob today.

The protesters, led by the group I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist (PHNAT), descended on City Hall to demonstrate against private companies barring photography in publicly accessible spaces.

In a statement, PHNAT said: “Areas designated as public realm are often privately managed spaces that are subject to rules laid down by the private management companies. Most insidious of these is the outright banning of photography in some of our most widely enjoyed public spaces, such as Canary Wharf. The mass gathering will highlight the restrictions on street photography in a public space.”

The group also presented mayor Boris Johnson’s office with a letter condemning private security guards restricting photography in public spaces.

A Canary Wharf spokesman said: “We don’t prevent members of the public taking photos. It’s only for commercial photography that we require a permit. The security guards have to make that call – one of the issues that may cause confusion these days is that the public have increasingly sophisticated equipment which could cause security to question them.

“We do ask commercial photographers for a permit because their projects can be intrusive and disruptive.”