“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.