Q: Can the police tell you to stop filming in a public place?
A: The short answer is no.
Recent media coverage following release of footage of the arrest of a teenager during the Mardi Gras in Sydney, provides the opportunity for a timely reminder of a person’s right to film in public.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that “In the video, which has amassed 150,000 views since Tuesday night, Mr Jackson is thrown to the ground in handcuffs and an officer from the Fairfield local area command holds a foot on his back.”
It is alleged that the police officers involved in the incident had asked people who were witnesses to the event to stop filming, “An officer that told the witness to stop filming ‘‘cos I said’’ will be pulled aside and reminded of police protocol which encourages the public to film police,” was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The law in Queensland
In Queensland a person has a right to film in public, except in some very limited circumstances which include:
1. Where a person is making indecent visual images of a child under the age of 16;
2. Where a person is committing an indecent or offensive act in public;
3. Taking of prohibited visual recordings of adults;
4. Where the person is being a public nuisance whilst filming; or
5. Where the person is obstructing police whilst filming.
Most importantly there is no law in Queensland that prevents a person filming a police officer in the execution of his or her duties, unless the filming causes a public nuisance or obstructs the police officer in the execution of his or her duties.
A police officer may not lawfully request a person that is filming in public to stop filming and a police officer may not require you to hand over or destroy a recording that has been made unless the police officer is seizing the footage as evidence.
We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week on the Creevey Russell Crimeline 0415 463 966 for no obligation advice and assistance. We are available to attend police stations throughout Western Queensland and South East Queensland at all times.
If you are contacted by police call the Creevey Russell Lawyers Crimeline 0415 463 966
T: (07) 3009 6555 or (07) 4617 8777