Photographer ‘obstructed’: Met police statement
December 12, 2008
Police are investigating the behaviour of an officer who was caught on video in what appears to be the obstruction of a press photographer doing their job.
The incident occurred as photographers were documenting protests outside the Greek Embassy in London on 8 December.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) slammed police for adopting a ?heavy-handed? approach.
Journalists complained they were ?physically removed from any area from which they could document events?.
NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said: ?The police must remember that they have responsibilities towards the media. Even where a protest is itself illegal, the media have a right to report on events and the police should not be taking action with the intention of obstructing journalists in their work.?
He added: ?There are clear guidelines which discuss how the police should work with the media and officers policing demonstrations need to be made aware of their responsibilities? Such basic infringements of our members? rights must stop.?
In a statement, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told us: ?The officer featured in this clip will be investigated regarding his conduct with a member of the media.’
The police spokesman acknowledged that officers are expected to adhere to the ?clear guidelines? that are there to ?protect the rights of the media?.
He added: ?The Metropolitan Police Service seeks to protect the interests and right of the media to do their job through educating all our staff within the service.
?Before every operation all our staff are briefed as to the role of the media and wherever operationally possible to facilitate them.
?This was a spontaneous demonstration that at points included outbreaks of disorder, which required an emergency response from police.?