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rickoricko Registered User
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay here goes. Last night I went out on the town with my mates as everyone was back from university and having a grand old get together. Anyway, long after the sun pokes it's head over the horizon, me and my other mate are pretty much the only people still out, winging it in one of those dreadful little clubs that stay open all night. We decide we're sick of the place, and head out the door, looking for a taxi as i'm staying over at his.

We walk up to a taxi and my mate says 'awesome, he's rolling a joint', I look in the front window and sure enough the guy sitting in the passenger seat (there were two of them in the car for some reason) was rolling a big fatty. So we get in the cab and start to make our way home. At this point my mate makes a comment about the guys spliff, and the guy offers to share it. We both share the spliff between ourselves and he rolls himself another one.

The guy asks us how old we are (19) and if we're in uni, just casual stuff like that, he then asks me where I get my stuff from, and I just said I smoke it with my friends sometimes. Me and my mate both are pretty much close to finishing the joint and then the guy who's smoking another pulls out his phone and tries to take pictures of us. I figure he probably got a few or had it on video or something, but me and my friend freak out, as we're not really fond of strangers taking pictures of us doing illegal shit. I asked him what the hell he was doing and he said 'oh man i've just got to take a picture of this, i can't believe it's happening' or some bs like that. My mate tells him to stop the cab, we pay them and go.

So we have quite a way to go home but as soon as we got out the cab we thought it was all very suspicious. We get into cab, guy gives us a free joint, then takes a picture of us which totally wasn't cool, was this guy a cop?

My friend had to give his postcode when he got in, so they can definitely trace where he lives as they have a picture of him. I'm just worried beacuse it seems like such an obvious sting, but at the same time i'm thinking maybe we were just being paranoid from the weed.

We're both a bit pissed anyway, there's no such thing as entrapment laws in the UK (right?) and we're both on prestigious degrees that would be instantly over if we got any criminal offences.

My thoughts are that these guys are just scouting for the police, trying to map local drug usage, so I don't think anything is going to happen, it's just a bit worrying that's all.

tl;dr: me and friend get in taxi, co-driver is rolling joints and gives us one, then takes picture of us, also asks some pretty probing questions

ricko on

Posts

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2009
    Eh, whatever they were up to, they don't have enough evidence to charge you. They're either undercover cops gathering intel on local users and dealers (incidentally, were their accents local? When they sent undercover cops into my home town in Scotland, they pooled them from south of the border rather than use local bobbies), dodgy cabbies trying to extort dumb students or just dodgy cabbies who like to smoke up while driving and get into inappropriate situations with their passengers.

    If they are cops, it's likely that they are probing for dealers. I was stopped on the street by some asshole once and asked if I knew where he could score some weed, fobbed him off with a suggestion he ask around at a random bar because I didn't know who the hell he was and damned if I'm going to get kneecapped for directing a stranger in the direction of any local dealers, few weeks later he's buying off a noob dealer in a club who ends up getting arrested and it turns out this guy was undercover.

    If they are cabbies trying to extort you, tell them to go to hell. A shitty photograph on a cellphone isn't incriminating evidence. You can't drug test photographs so it's just as easily a joint filled with nothing but tobacco. Flush your stash, call the police and tell them a cabbie is trying to extort you.

    If it is just cabbies fucking around, accept your paranoia as punishment for being a dumbass. Were these guys even licensed cabbies? Your dumb stoner-asses probably just jumped into a car with a couple of random strangers who weren't even looking to pick up fares.

  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I don't know about where you are but in the US you must be properly licenses to be a Taxi. If a cop were to impersonate them, it'd be...well...illegal.

    Also, it'd be pretty difficult for someone to track you down with just a post code and picture. Not impossible but if I were the cops, I'd pass on going after you for some cocaine dealing bastard.

    Not a lot you can do, just take some deep breaths and don't be smokin dope anymore.



  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Why would you get in a taxi with a driver that's smoking? The hell were you thinking?

  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Even if they were undercover cops, they're not looking for random stoner students to bust. They're looking for dealers.

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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2009
    Willeth wrote: »
    Even if they were undercover cops, they're not looking for random stoner students to bust. They're looking for dealers.

    Well, that depends on how far they get. If their masterplan of picking up randoms in a taxi and sharing fakejoints with them doesn't lead to busting Mr. Big in a few weeks they'll probably settle for whatever scraps they can brush together, inflate the charges to dealer based on shaky evidence, scrape together every drop of drugs they've seized in the past ten years for a photoshoot, get a local newspaper to make out like they've decimated the Evil Drug Ring in whatevertown and sleep tight knowing they've justified their budget for that quarter.

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Also, it'd be pretty difficult for someone to track you down with just a post code and picture. Not impossible but if I were the cops, I'd pass on going after you for some cocaine dealing bastard.

    Postal codes are a lot smaller areas than zip codes. For example, my postal code is for my apartment building. The apartment next to us has a different postal code. So it's not out of the realm of possibility that they'd be able to find him based on that and a picture.

    That said, if anything they were trolling for dealers. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2009
    penny018 wrote: »
    lodge a complaint with the cops to be on a safer side saying some stranger has taken your photos while traveling in the taxi with you guys. Nobody has rights to take your photos with out your permission.

    bahahahaha

    this is the opposite of true in almost everywhere in North America, and I suspect England is the same. I would want to see a law stating this to be the case before I'd even consider believing it.

    also
    I don't know about where you are but in the US you must be properly licenses to be a Taxi. If a cop were to impersonate them, it'd be...well...illegal.

    I'm pretty sure the cops could get the city taxi licensing bureau to license a few cops for some undercover work.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Sounds like he was just fucked up and not thinking. Did you get high? If you haven't been smoking, go pick up a $9 drug test and see if it was legit. Then you know whether to point and scream the next time you see that cabbie.

    eokNV.jpg
  • PongePonge Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Maybe they thought you were some minor celebrities and wanted to take your photo to send into Heat magazine...? :-P

    Seriously though, I've never heard of a 2 cabbies in the one car before. Why would they do that?

  • humblehumble Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Pheezer wrote: »
    penny018 wrote: »
    lodge a complaint with the cops to be on a safer side saying some stranger has taken your photos while traveling in the taxi with you guys. Nobody has rights to take your photos with out your permission.

    bahahahaha

    this is the opposite of true in almost everywhere in North America, and I suspect England is the same. I would want to see a law stating this to be the case before I'd even consider believing it.

    also
    I don't know about where you are but in the US you must be properly licenses to be a Taxi. If a cop were to impersonate them, it'd be...well...illegal.

    I'm pretty sure the cops could get the city taxi licensing bureau to license a few cops for some undercover work.

    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    i dont know what area cabs are considered

  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User
    edited June 2009
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    i dont know what area cabs are considered

    The cabbie could tell them to put their camera away in his car if he wanted to, but it was his cab. He can take pictures if he wants to.

    Also, in US law, you can take pictures of people in their home or non-public places as long as you are standing on a public place(or have their permission). So if you leave your window open, I can take a picture of you through it if I wanted to. Same goes with taking a picture into a car.

  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    youre small fish, nobody would be interested in 2 dudes smoking a j.. the picture thing? some people are weird. i think this was a case of extreme weirdness

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    (I'm British, BTW)

    It sounds like it's as more likely it was some random stoner doing stupid shit as it was the cops. Remember that weed laws in the UK are minimal, and at one point decriminalized in Brixton for possession. Even if you exclude the fact most police wouldn't even do the paperwork to bust someone with weed, there's no way a police unit will go to all the necessary trouble of getting a car, some weed and then take photos of you on a low-rez mobile phone, when they could do it with a hidden camera, just to catch some users. If they wanted to find some people to bust (not that they're under quota anyway) all they have to do is walk into any night club. The sting theory makes no sense.

    The whole setup does not scream police; it's way too overt and way too much work. My theory is it was some random stoner doing random shit, or a dealer looking for a new area. I wouldn't worry about it.

  • rickoricko Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Why would you get in a taxi with a driver that's smoking? The hell were you thinking?

    The driver wasn't smoking, his passenger was.
    Sounds like he was just fucked up and not thinking. Did you get high? If you haven't been smoking, go pick up a $9 drug test and see if it was legit. Then you know whether to point and scream the next time you see that cabbie.

    Yeah I felt kind of high. I do know of such things as synthetic weed though that the police use in instances like this.
    Lewisham wrote: »
    The whole setup does not scream police; it's way too overt and way too much work. My theory is it was some random stoner doing random shit, or a dealer looking for a new area. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Yeah. Well a point I ommited from the story was that after he asked me where I got mine, I asked him where he got his. He pointed to his mate and said 'wheeling and dealing innit, drugs on the go!'. So I guess they were selling from the taxi. Your theory that he was looking for new turf makes sense.

    In regards to someone's question on their accents, they worth both indian, but spoke pretty near perfect english, this isn't uncommon in my town as they own the fast food business.

    I never really thought police would run covert ops for users, sounds like they are hunting for dealers. It makes sense as it was like the first question he asked me when we got onto the subject.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, my mind has been put at ease.

  • humblehumble Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Thylacine wrote: »
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    i dont know what area cabs are considered

    The cabbie could tell them to put their camera away in his car if he wanted to, but it was his cab. He can take pictures if he wants to.

    Also, in US law, you can take pictures of people in their home or non-public places as long as you are standing on a public place(or have their permission). So if you leave your window open, I can take a picture of you through it if I wanted to. Same goes with taking a picture into a car.

    just cause its the cabbies car doesnt mean he is allowed to tell other people that they can take pictures of strangers

    a cab is someones property, much like a home
    you could argue this any which way

  • TonyTheLeperTonyTheLeper Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I wouldn't be too worried about it.

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    ricko wrote: »
    Why would you get in a taxi with a driver that's smoking? The hell were you thinking?

    The driver wasn't smoking, his passenger was.
    Sounds like he was just fucked up and not thinking. Did you get high? If you haven't been smoking, go pick up a $9 drug test and see if it was legit. Then you know whether to point and scream the next time you see that cabbie.

    Yeah I felt kind of high. I do know of such things as synthetic weed though that the police use in instances like this.

    If you got high, it was weed. I don't know about the UK, but in the states the police aren't allowed to just drug people.

    eokNV.jpg
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User
    edited June 2009
    With the way laws are about pot in the UK, I'd say listen to the people above. Who knows, if they were newly starting up this who 'weed on wheels' thing maybe he was just impressed you actually did smoke his joint in the back of the cab ;-).

    humble wrote: »
    Thylacine wrote: »
    just cause its the cabbies car doesnt mean he is allowed to tell other people that they can take pictures of strangers

    a cab is someones property, much like a home
    you could argue this any which way

    Cabs are also open to the public, which can make a difference. Anyway, I suggest you read up on your photography laws, because a lot of people have very wrong ideas about what is true and what's not. Hell, you can even be trespassing and legally take pictures. If someone kicks you off of their property for taking pictures, but you go back and take more you can get arrested for trespassing but the photography is still legal. I won't get into laws too much, because that's not the point of this thread, and I'm from the US not the UK so their laws probably are somewhat different.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you're concerned about losing your "prestigious degrees" by doing illicit things, then don't do illicit things to lose your prestigious degrees.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Evidence that marijuana smoking makes you paranoid.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Sounds like just a weird night out rather than anything to be seriously worried about.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User
    edited June 2009
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    again, unture. you technically need that person's permission before using the photo/video for anything if their face is recognizable (hence all the stock footage you see on the news of people walking along the sidewalk where the frame only shows them from the shoulders down - you see this a lot for slow news day stories about obesity), but as far as taking the pic/vid you don't need so much as the hint that they're compliant.

    armedroberty.jpg
  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    again, unture. you technically need that person's permission before using the photo/video for anything if their face is recognizable (hence all the stock footage you see on the news of people walking along the sidewalk where the frame only shows them from the shoulders down - you see this a lot for slow news day stories about obesity), but as far as taking the pic/vid you don't need so much as the hint that they're compliant.

    "is that.... is that my ass? wow. im one of those fatties i made fun of for so long."

    sig.jpgsmugriders.gif
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User
    edited June 2009
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    again, unture. you technically need that person's permission before using the photo/video for anything if their face is recognizable (hence all the stock footage you see on the news of people walking along the sidewalk where the frame only shows them from the shoulders down - you see this a lot for slow news day stories about obesity), but as far as taking the pic/vid you don't need so much as the hint that they're compliant.

    If it's in public I don't even think you NEED their permission for that, unless it's used commercially. News and artistic reasons you're allowed to take and publish the pictures(taking and publishing the pictures are separate issues in the law as far as I know). You might get a lawsuit on your hands if you published the photo in a false light...which usually involves having an untrue caption. Such as you publish a picture of the mayor shaking hands with a woman and the caption is "Mayor gets to know local prostitutes!" unless they really were prostitutes you'd probably be in trouble.

    I think with your example, the reason they block out or cut off people's faces is probably to avoid backlash and the headache of dealing with pissed off people. If they put someone's face on the news and call them morbidly obese they're going to be pretty upset, and someone is going make a stink about it. Maybe even think they can sue(even if they can't) and just cause problems in general. If their face is cut off, even if they recognize themselves, it's very unlikely they'd go around advertising the fact and have no legal recourse whatsoever.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2009
    Thylacine wrote: »
    humble wrote: »
    the only place you can take a photo of a person without their permission is out in public

    but if it's inside a place or home you need their permission
    again, unture. you technically need that person's permission before using the photo/video for anything if their face is recognizable (hence all the stock footage you see on the news of people walking along the sidewalk where the frame only shows them from the shoulders down - you see this a lot for slow news day stories about obesity), but as far as taking the pic/vid you don't need so much as the hint that they're compliant.

    If it's in public I don't even think you NEED their permission for that, unless it's used commercially. News and artistic reasons you're allowed to take and publish the pictures(taking and publishing the pictures are separate issues in the law as far as I know). You might get a lawsuit on your hands if you published the photo in a false light...which usually involves having an untrue caption. Such as you publish a picture of the mayor shaking hands with a woman and the caption is "Mayor gets to know local prostitutes!" unless they really were prostitutes you'd probably be in trouble.

    I think with your example, the reason they block out or cut off people's faces is probably to avoid backlash and the headache of dealing with pissed off people. If they put someone's face on the news and call them morbidly obese they're going to be pretty upset, and someone is going make a stink about it. Maybe even think they can sue(even if they can't) and just cause problems in general. If their face is cut off, even if they recognize themselves, it's very unlikely they'd go around advertising the fact and have no legal recourse whatsoever.

    This post I'm quoting is pretty much the only really accurate one so far.

    There's no law saying you can't snap or publish a photo you took either on your own property, or standing anywhere on public property in Canada or the US. The only exceptions have to deal with child pornography and that sort of thing. These acts are very strictly guarded by the freedoms of expressions guaranteed to citizens of both of those countries.

    Publishing a photo CAN get you into legal trouble, but not because it's illegal, but because you might be subject to a civil suit for libel if you imply something that is both untrue, and could be reasonably believed to be meant as a serious allegation. See the reference to the mayor hookin' up with prostitutes in the post I quoted for such an example.

    The thing about the news chopping off faces, also true. They don't want to deal with angry viewers. That's it.

    The way the law works in Canada relies heavily on a legal concept called the reasonable expectation of privacy. If you are walking around on a public sidewalk, you have none. By virtue of your choice to be present in public, you give up the right to privacy. On that note even if you are in your own home, but have left your curtains wide open so that anyone on the sidewalk can clearly see you vacuuming your living room in the nude, you're not gonna get to claim reasonable expectation of privacy, and any photos taken can be published. You might also be on the hook for exposing yourself, too.

    It's up to whoever owns the cab to determine if it's okay to take pictures in the cab. That responsibility could probably also be reasonably construed to delegate to the cab driver in the event that the taxi company owns the car, given that they're the only representative of the company available to consult and they're generally speaking held to be responsible for what happens in the car. I'm not a lawyer and I've never researched this aspect of things, and I suspect that it very well could differ between Canada, the USA and England. But I think reasonably speaking, we could agree that functionally, it's up to the cabbie just 'cuz he can kick you out of the cab if he doesn't want you taking pictures in it.

    If the cabbie doesn't mind, I think you're going to have a hard time insisting that you have a right to privacy while riding in a cab you don't own, with two complete strangers (the cabbie and the other guy), down a public road. Simply because you've chosen to make yourself visible to those two strangers, either one could be a good portrait artist with a phenomenal memory, and you certainly can't tell me that you don't think it's legal for him to go home and paint a highly accurate picture of you. The only difference between the camera and the canvas is accuracy and the skill necessary.

    Now I don't know for a fact that any of this is also equivalently true for the UK, but Canada's legal system relies on the British one for jurisprudence, is highly similar, and our nations have long held very similar "common sense" beliefs. Also we utilize a British Common Law system. The American system is somewhat different, but in matters of privacy legislation tends to be extremely similar to the Canadian one. I would be somewhat surprised to find that the British legal system handles the subject in a significantly different fashion.


    So unless you want to show some specific examples as to why you don't think that stuff I just typed is right, or why it might be different in the UK, I think the issue of him taking your photo is pretty closed. You can't do much about strangers taking your photo in public. You never have been able to, it's just that we didn't have so many cameras around as we do now. If he was a cop, well, I wouldn't want to have any dope lying around my apartment any time in the near future and I certainly wouldn't want to be caught hanging out with any who deals it either.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    You're being paranoid buddy. Don't stress.

    Also, I don't know what it's like in the UK (though I'd wager it's the same), but in most cities in the states, the majority of cabs have video cameras in them.

    PSN/WiiU: TheMakersMark
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    It's when you wake up in a cell or with a signed caution you have to worry.

    Sounds like you might be more likely to get the shit kicked out of you and your wallet stolen though. Don't get so wankered in future.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    dunno how the law is in england but isn't a cop offering you drugs entrapment?

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  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment

    you're fine if he's a cop, unless you're a major drug dealer

    are you a major drug dealer?

    Dubh wrote: »
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