A photographer has threatened civil action against the Metropolitan Police unless the force apologises and pays compensation amid claims that officers unlawfully stopped him photographing protesters last year.
Photojournalist Marc Vallée and videographer Jason Parkinson claim that police officers ‘interfered with their work and covered the lens of both their cameras’.
The alleged incident occurred outside the Greek Embassy in December 2008.
In a lawyer’s letter, sent to the Commissioner of Police, Vallée and Parkinson allege that the officers prevented them photographing the protesters and ‘the way that the police were dealing with the protesters, which appeared to be roughly’.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police today told Amateur Photographer: ‘We can confirm that we have received a letter of claim from two people with regard to an incident in December 2008 outside the Greek Embassy. It was received on 29 July 2009. Proceedings have not yet been issued.
‘The Metropolitan Police is considering its position in accordance with the usual pre-action procedure for civil claims.’
In their letter to the Commissioner, issued through Bindmans solicitors, the pair claim that the police breached The European Convention of Human Rights, regarding ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of assembly’.
The ‘letter of claim’ threatens legal action over assault, and breach of the journalists’ rights, to be pursued through the courts if police do not accept liability and issue an apology.
The Commissioner has been given three months to issue an official response.