Photo Credit: Charlotte Gilhooly from London, England, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 Cops at COP 

Photo comp

We are running a free-to-enter photo competition for the duration of COP26 on the theme of policing and climate change. This will be a fun, radical and collaborative way for people from all over our world to come together and document the two weeks of COP26, from the streets of Glasgow, to worker and student strikes worldwide.

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 Now then, what's all this about then? 

The links between policing and climate change will be clear during COP26. We expect the police to be out in full force. Who and what will they spend this climate conference defending? Which side are they on? We call for systems change not climate change, and the police are a part of those systems. 

In the UK, The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is still moving forward, which contains sweeping and arbitrary powers to restrict and criminalise protest on the basis of ‘noise’ or ‘annoyance’, including a maximum 10 year sentence. UKYCC strongly supports our democratic right to protest and stands against this Bill alongside many others.


 Competition details 

If you take a photo during the duration of COP26 that would fit in to one of the categories below, we'd love for you to enter the competition! You don't have to be present at Glasgow, we are expecting protests and student strikes around the world.

Competition categories:

  1.  ‘Force’ 

    • Suggested examples: Most police in one photo, general photos from protests worldwide

  2.  ‘Peace’ 

    • Suggested examples: Most peaceful activist, collaborative and creative actions

  3.  ‘Future’ 

    • Suggested examples: Positive stories of hope, youth coming together and international solidarity

Don't worry if your wonderful photos don't quite fit - these are fairly lose categories and we'll consider all submissions as long as they meet the guidance laid out below. 💚

 What will we do with the photos? & prizes! 

Firstly, we will showcase the winners and all shortlisted entries on a dedicated page on our website, alongside any testimonials or commentary provided by participants or UKYCC volunteers.

We'd also like to use the photographs to support our future campaigns around police violence and systems change. We hope this will also be a way to start conversations around police brutality, abolition, and wider system change. At the bottom of this page we have put some links to some other organisations doing amazing work around this area.

🎉 Prizes: 🎉

Our favourite photo from each category will be highlighted on a dedicate webpage showing the winners and shortlisted entries. These winners will also receive a prize of:

  • A highlight in our UKYCC newsletter

  • A 'noise' and 'annoyance' protest pack

 Terms and conditions 

Key conditions are outlined here, the full details can be found at this page

Legal stuff:

Firstly, we are not encouraging anyone to break the law. We just want to see the lovely photos you're probably going to be taking anyway. We anticipate that there may be many arrests during the weeks of COP26 and don't want to encourage anyone to get in any more trouble than they were already planning. 

Secondly, the website of the Scottish Police states 'It is not illegal to take photographs or video footage in public places unless it is for criminal or terrorist purposes.' and 'Generally the police cannot seize the camera or memory card unless you are committing an offence or suspected of terrorist activity.'  That being said - even journalists have recently been detained by police in England for photographing protests, so stay safe out there. For critical information during COP26 in Glasgow, we recommend the SCALP website.


Photo must be taken during the duration of COP26, can be submitted up to 1 week after.

Photos to be taken: 1st - 12th November 2021

Submission deadline: Midnight 19th November 2021.


You can submit up to 5 photos to each category any of three ways:

  1. Email a high quality submission to: photocomp@ukycc.org specifying the category.

  2. Use Twitter or Instagram to (publicly or privately) send us your submission using the hashtag #CopsAtCOP - due to the nature of twitter there is no need to specify a category and full permissions will be assumed as outlined in the full terms and conditions.

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Details on the photo competition and social media info

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

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