Photography to be Banned on Southsea Beach and Sou...

Photography to be Banned on Southsea Beach and Southsea Common

Word quickly went around local photographers and photography groups that Portsmouth Council have plans to be implemented from today that will dramatically restrict photography on Council land within Portsmouth and in particular Southsea & Eastney beach and Southsea Common. The reasons for this and more details were announced in an email from Portsmouth Council’s media office spokesperson Jeff Widener:

“Two years ago local residents who live around Southsea Common raised complaints about people having BBQs on Southsea Common and on the beach and Portsmouth Council agreed this was a problem and came up with a clever plan of creating BBQ zones. Residents have recently raised a new complaint that people on Southsea Common and the beach are taking photos that may include their properties and sometimes also include them in the background without their permission. The council takes privacy concerns very seriously so as of the start of the month we are introducing ‘Photography Zones’ in small areas such as the Rock Gardens and the Rose Garden. Photography on the beach and the majority of Southsea Common will be restricted”.

This obviously comes as a serious blow to many local photographers but worse still was this follow up comment after the council were contacted for clarification:

“We can confirm that mobile photography, including the use of Instagram, will also be banned. We will be monitoring the #Southsea and #Portsmouth hashtags on Instagram and will be checking for people breaking the bylaw and will consider prosecutions if necessary”.

Thankfully there is a way of fighting back and letting Portsmouth Council know that these new rules are not on and this is by signing a new petition HERE. We at Strong Island have always loved photography and taking photos in Southsea and wish to get as many people to sign the petition so please share the news of this ban as much as possible on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  1. What's the date today?

    1 April

    If only today wasn’t 1st April as you almost had me there

  2. sara beaven

    1 April

    This is totally shocking and un acceptable. Is this some kind of joke??? I should be able to enjoy the beach as a local resident and take pictures there. Seriously is this some sort of joke?? Very shocked!!!!

  3. sikes

    1 April

    you guys… ha

  4. paul

    1 April

    Well you had me for 2 mins…loved it as a resident of Southsea, Clarence parade, i could almost belive it ALMOST

  5. A Concerned Citizen.

    1 April

    About time ! With CCTV cameras everywhere I don’t see why anyone needs to have a personal record of my property, or indeed my y-fronts drying on the line. There are plenty of lovely pictures of Southsea in our shops, so nobody needs to take even more and depriving the local economy of valuable income. These photographers are just selfish and think they are ‘artists’. But an English man’s home is his Castle, not just a cheap photo opportunity! I hope they extend this scheme to the rest of the country, then we can tackle other troublesome social issues, such as unnecessary singing and inappropriate spontaneous dancing.

  6. Emma Fogarty

    1 April

    I really hope this is an April Fools!
    If its not then I am disgusted, being told where you can have a bbq is already a kick in the teeth to hundreds of Portsmouth taxpayers, not all of us can afford lovely seaside houses, and a lot of us dont have gardens! Butits acceptable only because it means the common will stsy in better nick! But to say no photography in certain areas due to a few jumped up residents is disgraceful! Yes take what they say seriously, but petty complaints like this one are not acceptable, I have and will continue to take pics of my chikdren as and when I want to, my o.ly consideration will be to other parents who may not (understandably) want their children in the background of other peoples photos!

  7. whatquid

    1 April

    this cant be real cant it, how are they going to be able to control tourists from using cameras around southsea, once again idiots and local boring residents that have no idea what they are talking about getting the council to find stupid and out of date by laws, pathetic..!!!

  8. whatquid

    1 April


  9. Keith Woodland

    1 April

    I really hope this is an April fools joke. If it is, it is in very POOR TASTE, coming from an organisation that supports and promotes the creative community of Portsmouth and Southsea.

    Though I would not put it past PCC. These actions, I believe would be declared illegal. It is not illegal to photograph any one or anything in a public place or on public ground.

    Please see the following links. http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-and-the-law.html

    I could go on.

    Though this is offset by by article 8 of the Human rights act. Even here it is contradicted by article ten, the freedom of expression.

    I am a professional photographer not a terrorist, pervert, peeping tom or criminal.

    Does the council believe it can prevent this activity when as a council tax payer, I believe I have paid my dues to us these public places as I see fit.

    If I was resident of the areas in question, I would be worried about all the surveillance cameras and google earth.

  10. Paul Gonella

    1 April

    Happy to say that yes, this Orwellian nightmarish vision is but an April Fools joke. I guess referencing the council’s BBQ zones and the powerful (if a little daft) lobby of some residents around the Common might have made it sound so silly it could well be true.

    One reason for the topic selected was to highlight the criminalisation and persecution of some areas of photography, in particular street photography. We back the rights of photographers 100% and I hope our 5 years of continued support for local photography speaks volumes.

    Apologies to the imaginary Portsmouth Council but apologies to Portsmouth City Council (who we work with closely on some projects and who I know are very keen to promote, not restrict, creativity in this city) incase anyone mixed them up with the imaginary one. Finally apologies for any upset or concern raised by this satirical April Fool’s article and here’s too a sunny summer and many full memory cards and exposed rolls of film full of photos of our special city.

  11. matthew

    2 April


  12. Craig Eves

    2 April

    Ah, you got me! I even shared!

  13. Who are ya

    4 April

    Ooops, classic backfire!

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