8 May 2023
[FYI request #22398 email]
Dear M Gilmour
Request for information
Thank you for your Official Information Act 1982 request of 5 April 2023, in which you
By way of background, I recently attempted to take a photograph of the aftermath
of a vehicle accident, while in an area accessible to the public and outside of the
police cordon. If it is relevant, there were no visible victims or blood or similar. I
was told that it was il egal to photograph a crime scene under investigation and
ordered to delete any photos taken.
I believe I was within my rights, but complied to avoid causing a scene when the
police and fire personnel on the scene had better things to do.
Can you please share any police policy, legal advice, internal documents, or any
other material that would shed light on whether ordering me to stop taking photos
and delete what I had was in fact a legal & valid request?
Police can close a road where a crime has taken place (and exclude people from an
area), but do not have the lawful authority to prevent someone photographing a scene
from a public place outside any cordon that has been set up.
Within the Police Instructions chapter titled - Police filming and audio recording of
operations and events - Public photographs of police activities
, staff are advised the
Occasionally, members of the public film or take photographs of Police
employees carrying out their duties. This is not an offence
and you have no
to prevent the photographs being taken or to seize the camera or digital
I also refer you to the FAQ section of the NZ Police Website which also provides
information relating to taking photos or filming in a public place.
What are the rules around taking photos or filming in a public place? | New Zealand
National Criminal Investigations Group
New Zealand Police
- Draft Response - M GILMOUR - OIA-IR-01-23-10896.pdf