Met Police changes press photographer guidelines

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The Metropolitan Police has clarified its rights to inspect photographs taken in public following complaints by the NUJ.

The original Met guidelines issued earlier this month for professional and amateur photographers claimed that under the Terrorism Act 2000, police had the right to view images taken in public.

The guidance has now been updated to clarify that officers can only view images belonging to photographers they reasonably suspect to be terrorists.

Roy Mincoff, NUJ’s legal officer, said: “It is good to see that the police have listened to some of what we have been saying and the new guidance is certainly an improvement. Let’s hope that this marks a recognition on the part of the police that they must take the concerns of photojournalists seriously. We will be monitoring to see if the changes are reflected in practice.”

The original ruling also recognised the right of the media to take photographs in public without interference from police or need for permits and tsaid hat police officers needed to obtain a court order before viewing photojournalists’ images. This section has not been altered.

The guidance followed criticism of police treatment of photographers in a number of high profile protests this year, including the G20 and Tamil demonstrations in April.

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