The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is poised to make a ‘collective complaint’ to the police watchdog over the way photojournalists were treated during the G20 protests, claiming it has a ‘dossier’ of incidents.
The NUJ today added that it is still considering whether to take legal action against the police after reports that officers misused section 14 of the Public Order Act to clear journalists away from an area of the City of London on 2 April.
Video footage is reported to show police threatening photographers and a TV crew, the latter believed to be from Sky News.
In a statement NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said: ‘The NUJ is currently compiling a dossier of incidents that have been reported to us, including possible assaults and the obstruction of journalists in going about their work. We intend to make a collective complaint to the IPCC [Independent Police Complaints Commission] and in some case there may be sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take formal action.’
Mincoff added: ‘Although the police may have a difficult job to do, they must conduct themselves properly at all times. Developments over the last few weeks show why it is essential for the public to have eyes and ears at events like these – and journalists must be free to carry out that vital role.
‘Assaulting members of the press and obstructing them from reporting events is an outrageous affront to our civil liberties and completely undermines confidence in the policing of demonstrations.’
The Metropolitan Police has denied that it admitted applying the Act incorrectly.
Before the G20 protests, the NUJ set up a legal helpline for photographers.
Last week the IPCC told us that photos were vital to investigations.