Misuse of police power is again under the spotlight after community officers were caught ignoring parking rules - then used terrorism laws to worm free.
A van-load of PCSOs were caught on camera parked on a double yellow line in Windsor Street, Uxbridge, last Tuesday lunchtime.
The pictures were taken by Alberto Wusche, who owns his own tailors business in the road. Soon after taking the pictures he found himself confronted by the officers.
They asked to see the pictures, then demanded the one of their van was deleted.
Mr Wusche, 75, refused to comply and was interrogated under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act.
He said: "They gave me a form saying I had been stopped for taking pictures of the town centre and a police van. Originally I was taking pictures of the shops opposite mine and never meant to get their van in the first place."
When his lecture was over, Mr Wusche boldly decided to take one more photograph - showing the reason the police had parked illegally was not for any emergency, rather they wanted to get some lunch.
He said: "I think what they did was out of order. I think police do a fantastic job and I have a lot of respect for them, but when they throw their weight around just because they have a uni-form it is wrong.
"I think they knew they had done wrong by parking and did not want the evidence shown to anyone. To use a power meant for catching terrorists is an abuse of power.
"I think the very least I deserve is an apology from the man who gave me the ticket."
The incident has come to the attention of Uxbridge MP John Randall, who was furious on Mr Wusche's behalf and even more angry about the abuse of the Terrorism Act.
He said: "We hear of this kind of thing happening more and more and it is quite simply a worrying misuse of power. I had already heard about someone taking a picture of the new Travelodge hotel in Uxbridge and being made to erase it by an officer because apparently it was a strategic site.
"Of course there is a need to be vigilant, but Alberto is an integral part of the community and a PCSO should be well aware of him and never should have written that ticket.
"The whole situation is crazy and I intend to raise the issue again in
Parliament because people are fed up of the police picking on easy targets."
Superintendent Iestyn Prosser, of Hillingdon Police, took immediate action when informed of the incident and has spoken with Mr Wusche, Mr Randall and the PCSO concerned.
He said: "I am not satisfied with the issue of an officer breaching the road traffic rules by parking illegally and I have taken steps to meet with the person responsible and have words with them.
"I also spoke to Mr Wusche and have apologised to him. He was very nice about everything and seems happy with the outcome.
"Taking photographs of buildings can be a precursor to future terrorist activity and the act is used irrespective of ethnicity, age and gender. I believe people are happy with how it is enforced and if there is to be a debate it will no doubt be done on a political level."