City of London police officers obstructing members of the press at the Old Bailey after the sentencing of David Norris and Gary Dobson for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. January 4, 2011. Photo: David Parker

City of London police officers obstructing members of the press at the Old Bailey after the sentencing of David Norris and Gary Dobson for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Picture David Parker 04/1/12

2 responses to “Lawrence

  1. Look at the photo… The photographers are standing on a public highway…. For which it is an offence to obstruct.. The officers in the road appear to be directing them out of the road… You will see that the photographers on the path are taking photos okay!!! And clearly the person who took the photo of this hasn’t been obstructed by police…. A photo doesn’t tell the whole story and nor do some press stories..!! Once again unbalanced and unfair slant on perception of policing…

    • I wasn’t there for this particular case, so perhaps my colleagues will also reply to your comments. However, having covered major cases at the Bailey before, I can tell you how things work. Several photographers are dispatched by some of the papers & bigger agencies. Strategic spots are then chosen to maximise the coverage and possibility of getting a shot of the criminals and victims. The long shots you see are from one of these positions. The closeup shot you see of a row of Police officers forming a line to cover the photographers, was taken from the side of the court house.
      As fas as obstructing a public highway, as you know, a photograph lasts a much shorter time than a second. The group was moving forward to try and get a shot. Here, the PCSOs stopped them and as you can see, put a hand up in front of the camera. There are two pictures showing this here and I have more that I have not published; there is also eyewitness testimony to this. You can also see the Police officer in the background is finding this amusing, judging by his expression-naturally this is purely a guess, but I’m guessing it’s the PCSOs causing this. Bizarrely, I also have other pictures showing a TV cameraman who is just out of the top shot printed, that is not impeded at all.
      The main reason however that they had to move forward was the officers would not allow them to stand under scaffolding across the road, on the pavement. The reason given was that building’s management didn’t allow this. This area was open to the public and is public ground. This was and still is, an extremely high profile case; the Policing should have been better organised as it was obvious there would be coverage.
      Lastly, anyone from the Met Police who knows me (and other Police forces from around the country who I have come in contact with during assignments) will I’m sure 100% testify that I have no “unbalanced or slanted perceptions”. I am in fact extremely respectful of the job that is being done and 100% law abiding. This is not to say that the Police always do things correctly; if we see a mistake, we point it out. This has resulted in much better working relations with the Met Police. Surely anyone in the service would want to service to be perfect. This attitude of blaming the press or the pictures and not realising the mistakes were made results in a world of arrogance and I’m afraid to say, ignorance. I am fortunate to have quite a few friends in the service; fortunately non of them take the stance you appear to be taking. Lastly, may I suggest yu read the link at the bottom of my article to see the Met Police’s advice on photography?

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