Feeds

Met amends journo photo guidance to prevent interference

Hard cheese, copper!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Police officers should 'exercise caution' when asking to view images captured by members of the media, according to amended advice to officers published by London's police force, the Metropolitan Police Service.

The Met faced criticism from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) last month when it published guidance that did not recognise the special rights of the media.

The guidance now makes it clear that a court order could be needed to view images captured by members of the media and warns officers to be careful.

"Where it is clear that the person being searched is a journalist, officers should exercise caution before viewing images as images acquired or created for the purposes of journalism may constitute journalistic material and should not be viewed without a Court Order," says the guidance, in a passage which did not appear in the original.

The new guidance also makes it clearer that searches of photos or video are only allowed when an officer suspects the person being searched of being a terrorist.

"Officers have the power to stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist," says the new guidance. "The purpose of the stop and search is to discover whether that person has in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are a terrorist."

The original advice had suggested that the power could be used to determine if the images were "of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism".

The guidance also makes it clear that people are entitled to film and photograph in public whether or not they are media professionals.

"Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel," it says.

The NUJ welcomed the changes. "It is good to see that the police have listened to some of what we’ve been saying and the new guidance is certainly an improvement," said Roy Mincoff, the NUJ's legal officer. "We still have significant concerns about the way counter-terrorism legislation is being used to impinge on media freedoms, so it is vital that any guidance issued by the police is accurate and recognises the importance of a free press."

“Let’s hope that this marks a recognition on the part of the police that they must take the concerns of photojournalists seriously. We will be monitoring to see if the changes are reflected in practice," said Mincoff.

The new guidance for officers can be read here.

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.