Photographers Run-in With Police at Powell Rd Shooting

A report on the NUJ website is claiming a photographer on assignment for the Hackney Gazette was forced to hand over her camera to a police Sergeant, last Saturday (31st July) at the scene of a shooting on Powell Road, Clapton.

Carmen Valino says she was threatened with arrest and forced to delete images even though she identified herself as a journalist and produced her UK press card.

She claims she was approached by a police officer who told her she was ‘disrupting’ a police investigation.  Valino protested about handing her camera over, saying she was in public space  outside the police cordon and told him he had no right.

According to her,  he grabbed her wrists and took out his handcuffs, but she hand him her camera, before he handcuffed her.  The Sergeant went away for five minutes, returned and asked to be shown the images, which she was made to delete and was told she could return a few hours later to photograph the crime scene.

This morning, I asked our local police here in Hackney what the procedure was, and was sent this link from the Met Police Website.

Having also been aggressively stopped from photographing by a police officer last year in Hackney, it appears the law is being arbitrary dispensed.

Here are some paragraphs from the Met website in regards to photography.

Freedom to photograph/film

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.

Terrorism Act 2000

Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place.

Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism.

Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction.

UPDATE

Police have since released a statement: “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.”

About Remi

Remi Hackney Hive founder, publisher and contributor. Hackneyite and all round Girl Friday who couldn't wait to leave Hackney and London behind her. After hitching her wagon in California, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana for 18 years, with a brief spell in Mexico, the prodigal daughter returned to London, happy to put an unconventional and risqué past behind her. It sometimes feels like she’s still at war with herself. This often leads her into a whole lot of trouble, although it’s fair to blame it on some of her best qualities: intelligence, original thinking, willingness to take risks, skepticism, rebelliousness, independence, and creativity. But you know what, much of the trouble she gets into is because she can’t help pointing out that the emperor is naked. Remi still lives by her own rules, nobody else’s. She is owned by her two dogs Deffer(a Jack Russell ) Darcy (a Jack Russell/Pomeranian mix now deceased but can’t remove their names) and two Black cats she adopted December 2021, Desmond and Tutu. She is proprietor of London’s finest and long established pet sitting service. The big smoke is home for the moment, but she desperately yearns wide open spaces, where she hopes to call home in the near future.

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