Man arrested for taking photos at bus stop is charged with indecency offences

I blogged last year about an incident in Shropshire that raised some important questions for press photographers.

A man was arrested on suspicion of taking photos of children at a bus station in Shrewsbury after a member of the public alerted a security guard.

West Mercia police put out a statement saying the man, 38, was arrested because he took 'prohibited images of children'.

I can now report that the arrested man has been charged with a series of offences involving indecent photographs of children.

The charges arise from a police investigation lasting more than a year.  He faces a total of 12 charges and will appear before Shrewsbury magistrates on 7 November.

Three of the charges relate to incidents between 22 July 2007 and 13 August 2012, when he is alleged to have outraged public decency by indecently taking covert photographs in a public place.

He also faces six charges of making indecent images of children, one charge of distributing an indecent photograph of a child, one charge of attempting to incite a young girl to engage in sexual activity and one charge of possessing extreme pornographic images.

CPS guidelines on the Protection of Children Act don't define indecency. They say it …'is for the jury to decide based on what is the recognised standard of propriety.'

Cleland Thom is a media law consultant

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