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Two Press film/still photographers arrested at Stop Oil protest


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Troubling on the surface but as we always say, it's just a press card, it's not a get-out-of-jail-free card. When journalists (a very wide definition these days) know about these hugely disruptive protests well in advance there must be at least a suspicion of conspiracy, and suspicion is all that's needed. In this case no evidence was found and they were released. No-one is immune from arrest.

It's also clear that confrontation was expected here. I'm sure they would have preferred not to be arrested, but they sure made hay out of it.

Edited by spacecadet
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Agents of the state? What? No material was seized and it was published shortly after. They were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy under the new Act. Those presumably were the grounds, the vid was edited to remove the ground for arrest of the first person. How was it evident that there were no grounds?

 I don't like this rightwing government any more than you do, but these protests are hugely disruptive and the new Act allows arrest on exactly the grounds that were stated by the second officer. A search of a suspect's premises seems proportionate in a case of suspected conspiracy.

I don't know about LBC, and whether or not they were present, and I don't know what should and shouldn't happen, but whataboutery doesn't help. Not every person is arrested for every suspected offence- it happens on suspicion and evidence. The officers presumably had an honest belief that there were grounds for arrest and they acted on them. Neither of us can say otherwise because we weren't there. I can't see why they wouldn't have acted without fear or favour if they had been LBC staff- they don't have get-out-of-jail-free cards either.

Photographers as such aren't "fair game" as far as I can see. Someone who may have committed a serious offence is.

 

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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

How was it evident that there were no grounds?

How was it evident that there were grounds? The fact that they were present at a protest that they, and presumably you, don't approve of? The nature of the protest is immaterial. So if any journalists or photographers are present at, or even perhaps have prior knowledge of, a protest or demonstration that the Home Secretary doesn't approve of, or the 'British Public' then that is now automatically suspected conspiracy is it? I'm not talking about 'whataboutery', a clumsy phrase at best, it's simply a fact that journalists have sources and they do not reveal them, that is not conspiracy. The LBC journalist who has always been present at these previous protests has never been challenged and even Nick Ferrari has stood up for their right to do so, and to not reveal how they knew of it. If this new act means that they will now be arrested and their houses searched then things will be getting very interesting indeed.

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Prior knowledge of protests is bread and butter for photographers, arresting them for conspiracy is ludicrous.

 

It just sounds like the local Police were told to round up the usual suspects, and that I am afraid is not grounds for a beautiful friendship.

 

 

 

 

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Courtesy of the BPPA, a link to police guidance when dealing with press photographers (read right hand page):

 

https://thebppa.com/metropolitan-police-media-guidelines/

 

ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) also issued an A4 sheet some time ago stating the same information. I used to carry several copies in my camera bag, just in case.

 

See also this:

 

https://www.npcc.police.uk/Publication/NPCC FOI/Information Management/221 15 Guidance for Photographers att 01 of 01.pdf

 

section 4.35 onwards seems relevant.

Edited by Malcolm Park
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...and so it came to pass, the LBC journalist that I mentioned was herself arrested yesterday morning when on the bridge close to the gantry. Her press pass was ignored, she was handcuffed, her phone was snatched away and she was taken to a police station where she was held in a cell for 5 hours, DNA, fingerprints & mugshot, she has just told Nick Ferrari that she was not questioned. Global lawyers were contacted and she was released.

 

https://amp.lbc.co.uk/news/police-shutting-down-free-media-lbc-reporter-arrested/

 

It's been the lead news item on LBC throughout his show, and indeed it was he that asked for a reporter to attend the scene. He's not going to drop this easily.

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4 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

...and so it came to pass, the LBC journalist that I mentioned was herself arrested yesterday morning when on the bridge close to the gantry. Her press pass was ignored, she was handcuffed, her phone was snatched away and she was taken to a police station where she was held in a cell for 5 hours, DNA, fingerprints & mugshot, she has just told Nick Ferrari that she was not questioned. Global lawyers were contacted and she was released.

 

https://amp.lbc.co.uk/news/police-shutting-down-free-media-lbc-reporter-arrested/

 

It's been the lead news item on LBC throughout his show, and indeed it was he that asked for a reporter to attend the scene. He's not going to drop this easily.

There you are. Without fear or favour. Photographers and journalists are not above the law- and neither are the police.

Nearly enough Red Arrows for a "Diamond 9" on my post- anyone care to top up?😀

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Statement from Hertfordshire Police today:

 

"Chief Constable Charlie Hall recognises the concerns over the recent arrests of journalists who arrived at these locations, and have been present with the protestors at the scenes.  Additional measures are now in place to ensure that legitimate media are able to do their job.

 

In addition, Mr Hall is today requesting an independent force to examine our approach to these arrests and to identify any learning we should take in managing these challenging situations."

 

Apparently Nick Ferrari did feature one of the photographers on his show yesterday, I didn't hear it but I suspect that it was the furore around the arrest of LBC's Charlotte Lynch yesterday that has brought on this new sense of self-awareness from Hertfordshire Police.  Today any minister near a microphone is being asked if they support it which is proving to be very awkward for them.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Statement from Hertfordshire Police today:

 

"Chief Constable Charlie Hall recognises the concerns over the recent arrests of journalists who arrived at these locations, and have been present with the protestors at the scenes.  Additional measures are now in place to ensure that legitimate media are able to do their job.

 

 

 

How about the general public having the legitimate right to take photos in any public place?

 

Or the simple fact that photography is not a criminal activity.

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9 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

As a news photographer I do, on occasion, get tip offs from all sorts of sources.  I also work out where protests and incidents may be happening and try to be there.  On a number of occasions police officers have said, in jest, how do I know what is going on before they do.  Part of legitimate news gathering is having sources and intelligence and acting on them.

Although I do not agree with what happened to those togs, if those tip offs are about something illegal (as these protests were), out of civic duty should you not inform the police?

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18 minutes ago, Martin L said:

Although I do not agree with what happened to those togs, if those tip offs are about something illegal (as these protests were), out of civic duty should you not inform the police?

 

 

slavery in the western world was legal once upon a time, illegal protests and moral action changed it.  

 

edit: slavery is still legal in some formats like prison labor, etc. 

 

Edited by sooth
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5 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Statement from Hertfordshire Police today:

 

"Chief Constable Charlie Hall recognises the concerns over the recent arrests of journalists who arrived at these locations, and have been present with the protestors at the scenes.  Additional measures are now in place to ensure that legitimate media are able to do their job.

 

 

 

 

definition of legitimate media?

 

citizen media,citizen journalists with no press pass, or can't get one because of barriers created by police to obtaining one (e.g., nyc) are not considered media?  also i know the establishment press like to protect their own, when it comes to citizens armed with a camera getting arrested, these press associations fall silent.

Edited by sooth
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13 minutes ago, sooth said:

 

 

slavery in the western world was legal once upon a time, illegal protests and moral action changed it.  

 

edit: slavery is still legal in some formats like prison labor, etc. 

 

Agree, but that was not quite the point I was making. 

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Just now, Martin L said:

Agree, but that was not quite the point I was making. 

 

i think that was the point you were making. obeying the law because it's the law is pretty naive.

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As someone who has covered demonstrations around the world in days gone by, I am seriously shocked to read the GUARDIAN story.  Not shocked by the arrest of photographers,

but the police arriving at one journalist's home and searching their home is SHOCKING.  I am also surprised to read about this happening in the UK, in the U.S.  unfortunately, it would not surprise me.

 

Even Moscow in the early to mid 1990's it was not bad.

 

Chuck

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