Following a meeting with Arcadia Group, Adam Goldman, company secretary and Tracy Dixon, Topshop’s regional controller, the company has issued a full apology for the treatment of NUJ photographer Jess Hurd in its flagship Oxford Street store in December 2011.
Jess Hurd, chair of the NUJ London Photographers’ Branch was assaulted, dragged through the store and arrested whilst covering a peaceful UK Uncut protest. She was later de-arrested but banned from the store.
Jess Hurd said: “It is very disappointing that no CCTV footage of the incident could be found, so my assailant cannot be identified, but I welcome the long awaited apology from Topshop and the lifting of my ban from the store. It is not acceptable that having identified myself as a professional journalist covering the protest in the store that I experienced being forcibly arrested and the humiliation of being dragged through Topshop with my clothes pulled up, exposing my upper body. We have the assurance that Arcadia will work with the NUJ to ensure proper media training for their staff and communicate that message to all their contracted security firms to prevent a repetition of such behaviour in the future.”
Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer said: “‘The NUJ welcomes this apology, removal of the ban and the commitment of Arcadia Group, the owners of Topshop, to working with the NUJ to ensure its security contractors are aware of the special rights of the media in seeking to avoid any similar conduct in future. They are aware the NUJ will hold them to account should there be further incidents, which we and Arcadia hope will not arise.’
Arcadia Group said: “Topshop welcomed the opportunity to meet with Jess Hurd and Roy Mincoff of the NUJ and had a productive and helpful discussion about this unfortunate incident, which occurred in unusually difficult circumstances during protests in its store. Topshop’s priority was to protect its staff and customers, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police. We regret that Ms Hurd, as a member of the press, was caught up in the fray and detained by security, and we look forward to working with the NUJ to ensure our security contractors improve their procedures in future.”
Read Jess Hurd’s Blog – Sexually Assaulted and Banned from Topshop