Police Threaten Press Photographer

“Video of police threatening to arrest me if I do not delete pictures. Absolutely absurd behavior by them and potential blackmail. No cordon was put in place and no police officer stopped me from walking up to where I was standing… hence the other photographer just walking up after me. Police officer also claiming that he will be “touching me” in the police van back to the station.”

The video has been pulled down by the photographer for various reasons. We hope it’ll be back online soon.

Disgraceful behaviour by a plain clothed Police officer (one assumes a detective, who says he’s in charge of the crime scene, who then clearly threatens the photographer quoted above, by saying “I’ll be touching you in a Police car back to Ilford Police Station”) and a Police sergeant against a press photographer doing his job and covering a story from an un-cordoned public footway. One might accept a Police officer new to the job not to know about the rights of the press, but for two experienced officers to abuse their powers like this and then give the photographer an ultimatum to delete the pictures or be arrested, is just wrong. They also bring forth arguments of morality which is clearly not within the Police service’s mandate of things to enforce.

After all the good work done by the BPPA and NUJ with the Police service, resulting in much better Police relations than has been had in recent years, it really is an absolute shame to see this behaviour emerging again.

The Police have no right to stop anyone taking pictures in a public place. They also have no right to ask for images to be deleted. This document by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) clearly reminds officers of their powers.

NB-I have kept the identity of the photographer hidden for now. Also as I get more details on what the incident was that was being photographed, I shall update the story.

11 responses to “Police Threaten Press Photographer

  1. This is very disappointing to see. I had a very positive and friendly experience with a police officer the other day while I was taking photos in a park and it made me think perhaps they’d finally been educated about the law and proper conduct. I was mistaken.

    • It is indeed very disappointing to see. I think on the whole things have improved a lot and it’s great to hear good feedback as there is no need for situations like this. Alas, this particular show of abuse is extremely disappointing, even more so for the officers involved being relatively senior and experienced.

  2. Too bad the photographer is not Rebecca Brooks, otherwise he will had been fine. What disgraceful are the police and the olympics for this country

  3. Very disappointing, but would like to know the outcome. I feel a little common sense from both parties would have helped.

    • I think the photographer behaved professionally. The officers clearly didn’t, made a physical threat and bullied him, against the law, to delete pictures or be arrested. Unfortunately, that is well out of order. As upholders for the law, one would expect more from these officers.

  4. Must totally agree with the statements above
    Total abuse of police power

  5. This is normal police behaviour in west Yorkshire and has been for some time.
    Nothing gets done, rights are abused and eroded and the boat gets pushed out further and further each day.
    Until a court case is brought and pushed through to the very end nothing will ever be done about the police abusing authority and power.
    I will contribute to any legal fund necessary.

  6. This happens with the Scottish police forces all the time. Police bullying, hectoring and obstructiveness with the Press is par for the course as is an often wilful disregard for the law. It’s all about showing the Press that they’re in charge. As the war on information and the Press continues, it’s only likely to get worse.

  7. Outrageous, I honestly thought progress was being made with building relationships with the Police but I was obviously wrong. I have seen some things in my Press career but this takes the biscuit. Two years ago I was assaulted and had my gear stolen. The police were brilliant and helped me no-end, but this just shows that not all of them are good guys..

    • I think a lot of positive stuff has happened and that there are some amazingly brilliant Police officers around. Unfortunately, there is this extreme as well. As a public service, and as upholders of the law, more is to be expected of them. They have let themselves down.

  8. Disgraceful! Glad to be for one more year in Italy and avoid this kind of harassment.

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