Feeds

Met amends journo photo guidance to prevent interference

Hard cheese, copper!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.