Police Force Photographer to Delete Crime Scene Photos
The police and community support officers in London and nationwide have increasingly
been abusing Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, stopping and searching law abiding
professional and amateur photographers alike. Photo: lewishamdreamer
Despite identifying herself as a press photographer, Valino claims the police sergeant told her that she was disrupting a police investigation and ordered her to hand over her camera. She protested about handing her camera over, saying she was in public space outside the police cordon, but he grabbed her wrist and pulled out his handcuffs.
The sergeant took her camera for five minutes before returning it and told Valino to delete the images she had taken. He then told her she could return later to photograph the scene.
The National Union of Journalists has criticized police following the incident, with general secretary Jeremy Dear saying officers should not abuse the law.
He said: "The abuse of the law must stop. There is a gulf between photographers' legal rights and the current practices of individual police officers.
"The police should uphold the law, not abuse it - photographers acting in the public interest deserve better."A statement released by police to the Amateur Photographer reads: "Hackney Police is aware of the incident and is currently looking into the circumstances.
"It is clearly not the intention of the MPS to prevent people taking photographs. Our officers do receive guidance around the issue of photography through briefings and internal communications and we continue to drive this work forward.
"It is therefore disappointing when this guidance in not followed correctly."
Speaking to the British Journal of Photography, a Hackney Police spokeswoman confirms the incident and adds that it was "clearly not the intention of the MPS to prevent people from taking photographs.
"Our officers do receive guidance around the issue of photography through briefings and internal communication and we continue to drive this work forward. It is therefore disappointing when this guidance is not followed correctly. Any allegations or complaints about police treatment of photographers is taken very seriously and will be dealt with appropriately. Anyone who is unhappy with the actions of individual police officers can make a formal complaint, which will be thoroughly investigated." the Hackney Police spokeswoman added.