Thames Valley Police accused AGAIN over treatment of a journalist

A press photographer in Reading is the latest journalist to suffer at the hands of over-zealous police officers.

Paul King was taking pictures of a road traffic accident in Wokingham, Berkshire, when police seized his camera and later deleted images from it, the BBC reports.

King reportedly has 25 years experience as a news photographer working in the Thames Valley area.

He told the BBC: “The officer came after me in a police car, grabbed hold of me and told me he was going to arrest me.

“He took my equipment but when it was brought back I had a look at the images and they were not there.

“I have made a formal complaint to the police and I am seeking legal advice from the NUJ.

“My role is to photograph news so the general public can see what’s going on.”

Thames Valley Police has previous when it comes to infringing the liberty of journalists.

In January, a photographer who was arrested, handcuffed and detained for eight hours when he tried to take pictures of a road accident won more than £5,000 in damages and an apology from Thames Valley Police.

And let’s not forget their shameful treatment of Milton Keynes citizen journalist Sally Murrer who suffered a terrible ordeal as a result of a botched leak probe by the force.

She was held for 30 hours at Banbury police station on one occasion, strip-searched and confronted with tapes indicating that she had been under surveillance for months. Police repeatedly told her that she had committed a very serious offence and that she could go to prison for the rest of her life.

The bizarre charges against her were thrown out in November 2008 and we still don’t really know why police acted the way they did.

On the photography issue, as Amateur Photographer magazine recently noted – the police have no power to stop photographers taking pictures in public places unless there are exceptional circumstances.

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