Press photographer 'intimidated' by police after taking pictures at scene of accident - Press Gazette

Press photographer 'intimidated' by police after taking pictures at scene of accident

Police are to investigate the alleged assault and intimidation of a journalist who was taking photos after a road accident in Scotland.

Freelance Campbell Thomas (pictured above with his son) claimed the officer, PC Jon Mochan, 36, accused him of being ‘macabre’, grabbed his arm and tried to stop him taking photographs of the incident near Irvine, Ayrshire in March.

He also claims another officer told him he was entitled to take his camera and delete the images in case he put them on Twitter or YouTube.

Thomas says the second officer said he could be charged with obstruction, that what he was doing was "not very nice", and that he should have asked for permission to take pictures.

Thomas, is a former police special constable and has given two statements to senior officers. The accident involved a 15-year-old boy who was struck by a car.

Thomas arrived at the scene after the boy had been taken to hospital.

He said: "It was a very boring scene with no dramas until the policeman decided to crank it up after seeing me with a camera and notebook.

"I was left pretty shaken by the whole thing.

"It's quite depressing that after all the previous well-publicised incidents of this type, police are still bullying and intimidating journalists for simply trying to do their jobs.

"I'm finding it harder to use the ‘few bad apples’ line after the number of times similar things have happened to me.

"I do hope this gets to court, so the public can hear how some sections of the police treat journalists behaving in an entirely professional way while trying to get the news stories out."

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "A 36-year-old officer is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with an incident near Irvine on March 28."


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