My first encounter with a British police officer (or constable – I didn't check) asking what I was photographing today and it felt a little less tense than when his American counterpart did the same last year; my empirical evidence to date indicates that a smile and the lack of a deadly weapon on the hip makes quite a difference.
I'm not sure what was going on in Chichester today; there were two pairs of policemen who periodically stood and looked around or wandered off down one of the four main streets in the city centre a couple of hundred yards apart.
Towards the end of our lunch break it just so happened that we were parked under Chichester Cross mere yards back from one of the pairs of officers. As we perused the people passing through the precinct (that's enough alliteration from me now) a woman approached us and asked what we were waiting for; apparently she'd mistaken the presence of the police and some scruffy paparazzi as indication that something important was about to occur. I conceded that this was not the case. Just after that, though, one of the officers turned around and came and asked what we were photographing. It was an interrogation of sorts but it was done with a smile and he bought my story about photographing people hook, line, and sinker, never once realising we were decoys for the illegal camel trading that was taking place while his back was turned. Lucky for us the other pair of policemen were looking the other way too. So thrilled was I by the outcome that I just couldn't resist asking the officer to strike a pose for posterity at the conclusion of our shady goings-on and this shot is the result.
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