Freelance journalist uses Data Protection to uncover police dossier on himself

A freelance journalist has used the Data Protection Act to discover the extent to which police have been keeping him under surveillance.

Matt Salusbury, who is a journalist and campaigner, sent a letter and paid £10 to discover what data the police kept on him.

He found out that his photograph was taken in 2002 when he went to a public meeting, and that when he covered an arms fair in 2007 as a journalist the police noted: “At 1240 hours, Matt Salusbury, male IC1, observed cycling along Victoria Dock Yard…”

Police also noted his attendance at a 2002 anti-capitalist demonstration in London and took a copy of an advert he placed in Time Out in 2001 to publicise film screenings associated with the anti-capitalist movement.

Salusbury’s experience is included as part of a Guardian report on the way police are now targeting peaceful protestors as “domestic extremism” and using survelliance methods on them.

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