Archive for December, 2011

Why I’m resisting the Dale Farm Production Order

12th December, 2011

 

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday 13 December 2011, I will head to Chelmsford Crown Court to oppose a production order application by Essex Police to seize all my footage from the Dale Farm eviction.

The production order, calling for all footage shot on 19 and 20 October, is also being served upon other news outlets.

I am resisting the order with the full support on the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and legal support from Bindmans Solicitors. The handing over of material, either published or unpublished goes against the NUJ Code of Conduct. Read the rest of this entry »

Branch Xmas Party

11th December, 2011

photo Jess Hurd/ design Jason Parkinson

7pm, 14th December 2011 at the Queens Head Pub near the NUJ.

66 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NB – Map

Print Exchange

This Christmas we are coming together as a branch in a celebration of our year. Over the last 12 months our members have reported and documented everything from revolutions to civic engagements. Though our commitment to the highest standards of ethical journalism we continue to stand and fight together for the future of photography in the UK and Abroad. To celebrate this last years achievements the branch is running a print exchange at the party. To enter you can either buy raffle tickets on the  night or donate a print to the exchange and get them free. All financial proceeds will be donated to a journalist’s charity to be announced.

If you would like to donate a print for our raffle then please bring it along to the party on the night, otherwise Matt can offer a quality (giclee) A3 print for £12 inc. VAT. Please Email him your image file in the form of a JPEG to matt@matthewaslett.com.

 

FB Event – Please do RSVP on here if you can!

Look forward to seeing you there! Santa outfit optional 🙂

Met Apology for Photographer’s Parade Arrest

9th December, 2011

Police officers block Jules's camera, dislodging a lens hood, during the incident. photo Jules Mattsson

The London Photographers’ Branch congratulates its member Jules Mattsson in winning his case against the actions of the Met police when he was covering an Armed Forces Day parade in Romford last year. Jules kept calm, recorded the incident and argued for his rights in an intimidating encounter with the police. During the encounter he was abused, assaulted and threatened under the Terrorism Act and falsely imprisoned. Jules was 15 at the time and a student but had the support of branch officials at the scene and the national union in successfully pursuing justice with the help of leading civil rights solicitor and friend of the NUJ, Chez Cotton.

NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said:

“This was very poor and unlawful behaviour by a senior police officer, trying to intimidate a young NUJ photographer. It is not acceptable conduct, has no place in the police force and is hardly likely to gain respect for the police amongst the youth of the UK. The police have now recognised this, apologised and compensated our member. The NUJ will continue to hold the police to account to ensure that the vital rights of journalists, enshrined in law, are upheld, to enable reporting and photographing to continue, as part of the democratic framework of our society.”

Read the full Bindmans statement:

Met Commissioner compensates journalist arrested for taking photographs in public place and told to stop “running round acting silly, being stupid and gay”

 

NUJ demand apology from Nottinghamshire Police

8th December, 2011

The National Union of Journalists is demanding an apology from Nottinghamshire police after video tape was seized from a student videojournalist covering the ‘Occupy Nottingham’ protests.

Update: Union to complain to IPCC over incident

Film & TV student Lewis Stainer in front of the protest camp. photo © Alan Lodge

From the NUJ Nottingham Branch:

Today, the NUJ has written to Nottinghamshire’s chief constable Julia Hodson calling for the apology to be made in person to 20-year-old Lewis Stainer, a student at New College in Nottingham.

Last Friday he was given back his film after it was seized on Monday 21st November by the police for evidential reasons.  Lewis had been filming in the old Market Square for his course project when police made four arrests at the Occupy Nottingham camp. Subsequently two people were charged with offences.

National officials of the NUJ have also decided today to give Lewis Stainer legal support while the union’s legal officers carry out a full investigation into the incident. Lewis who’s studying a BTEC in TV and Film says he wants an apology as well as compensation for the stress and  inconvenience he experienced in having his coursework seized.

The union is increasingly unhappy at the number of problems involving photographers across the country.

Diana Peasey, chair of the Nottingham NUJ branch said ‘we know photographers are under increasing pressure here. They’re often told they can’t photograph crime scenes or face having their camera or material seized by police under section 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. It is done all too frequently.’

‘We have our own Police and Media guidelines which the NUJ negotiated with the Nottinghamshire police. Section 7 says specifically:

‘Police officers do not have the authority to prevent a person taking a photograph or to confiscate cameras or film and such conduct could result in criminal, civil, or disciplinary act.’

Ms Peasey said “It is clear that the PACE legislation is overriding the Media guidelines and we need to toughen them up to ensure that the police understand they cannot intimidate photographers and journalists at crime scenes or major incidents.”

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Constabulary’s Complaints and Misconduct unit is also looking into the incident.

Diana Peasey, chair, Nottingham NUJ branch.

Material ‘acquired or created for the purposes of journalism’ is Special Procedure and protected from seizure in this way under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The London Photographers Branch is strongly against the use of journalistic material as evidence.

Members approached by the police for your material you should contact the NUJ immediately. During office hours you can contact the NUJ Legal Department on 020 7843 3721. If you urgently need help you call the 24hr NUJ emergency legal helpline on 0800 5877530.

Additional coverage: BBC, ITV, Indymedia, Further on IndymediaHTFP

LPB Posts on Seizure of Material:

Journalists not Evidence Gatherers

We Are Press Not Police Intelligence

Protecting Journalistic Material