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IPCC U-turn on Tomlinson CCTV

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The Independent Police Complaints Commission has admitted there could be CCTV footage of the moments before Ian Tomlinson was struck by police officers shortly before he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last week Nick Hardwick, head of the IPCC, said there was no CCTV footage of the incident during the G20 protests and there were no cameras in the relevant area. Footage taken by a US fund manager seemed to show an unprovoked attack on Tomlinson by a police officer. Tomlinson later died of a heart attack.

But City of London police sent round an email this morning warning businesses not to delete CCTV footage.

The mail said: "The City of London Police are investigating the G20 Protests on 1st April 2009, under Operation Princess. Officers from the Major Investigation Team will shortly be attending various business premises throughout the City with a view to seizing CCTV evidence.

"It is anticipated that most premises will retain their CCTV for 31 days, but if for some reason your premises keeps it for less than that time please make contact immediately in order that your seizure can be prioritised."

The IPCC, which is investigating the death of Ian Tomlinson, reversed its position today. It said: "There are cameras in the surrounding area.

"From the outset it has been a main line of our enquiry to recover all CCTV from the Corporation of London and from all private premises in the area. This work is ongoing and involves many hours of viewing and detailed analysis."

The IPCC said Hardwick believed he was right when he told reporters there were no CCTV cameras where the incident happened.

Police have long used video and still cameras to intimidate protestors and have also called for a national CCTV database so they could search footage more easily. ®

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