Police accept they should not have monitored journalists

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Kent police has accepted it was wrong to place journalists under surveillance – after the Guardian published a leaked video in which officers were recorded saying they “trusted [photographers] less than protestors”.

The paper uncovered evidence at the weekend of widespread monitoring of journalists – including ITV and Sky News crews – at a climate camp protest in Kent last summer.

Kent assistant chief constable Allyn Thomas told the Guardian last night: “The situation on the ground was complex with more than 1,000 protesters, together with journalists and camera crews, in a confined area.

“We accept that police should not have filmed legitimate journalists or camera crews, however it was a difficult task in these circumstances to clearly identify them.”

Yesterday, Press Gazette heard from a number of photographers who said police treatment was “getting worse” – despite the existence of media-police relations guidelines issued two years ago by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

This morning, we report that photographers are due to meet MPs and Government ministers to ask them to overhaul a recently introduced counter-terrorism law that could see photographers imprisoned for doing their job.

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