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Phil Smith recieves verbal and written police apology

Phil Smith recieves verbal and written police apology - BFP member Phil Smith has received an apology from Suffolk Police after he was wrongly stopped from taking pictures in Ipswich town centre.

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BFP logoPress Release:

Suffolk Police have apologised to a Bureau of Freelance Photographers (BFP) member after a police officer wrongly stopped him from taking pictures.

Member Phil Smith sought advice from the Bureau of Freelance Photographers after he was prevented from taking pictures of the switching on of Christmas lights in Ipswich town centre. A policewoman asked him whether he had a licence to take pictures and then ordered him to stop. He was required to erase his pictures and sign an Encounter and Stop/Search record form.

The BFP contacted Suffolk Police over the matter and also advised Mr Smith to make an official complaint. As a result, they have apologised to Mr Smith both in person and in writing.

“Shortly after making the complaint,” says Mr Smith, “I received a telephone call asking if a police inspector responsible for Ipswich Town centre could visit me at home. Later that same day the inspector called and he gave me a full verbal apology (with a letter to follow) for the way that I was treated.”

“He assured me that the officers concerned had been informed of the correct law in relation to the taking of photographs in public places. He also agreed that officers need to be better educated in these matters. To compensate me for the loss of my images he gave me a DVD that was produced by the company responsible for arranging the event.”

Phil Smith’s experience shows that it is worth making a formal complaint if you believe you have been unjustly treated by the police.

Meanwhile, a press photographer has just been given a £4,000 settlement by City of London Police in compensation for his arrest while trying to cover a demonstration in 2005.

Freelance Ben Leamy, whose arrest was captured on film by a colleague, was pushed against a wall, handcuffed, and imprisoned for 11 hours, despite having shown his press card and continually telling the police that he was not part of the protest. He also had his camera confiscated and not returned to him for a month.

The photographer has still not received an apology from City of London Police, who said that the settlement was made without prejudice and without any admission of fault on their part.


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Comments


User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
18 Dec 2007 6:27PM
Interesting 'Test Case'. Let's see if it stands up across the country...

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uggyy 8 2.1k 9 Scotland
18 Dec 2007 11:09PM
"The photographer has still not received an apology from City of London Police, who said that the settlement was made without prejudice and without any admission of fault on their part."

Thats the sore point, pay the guy 4k and still not said it was there fault. Imagine for arguments sake that TOG was now too nervous to go out and work, why wouldnt they be responsible for it?
DeSilver e2
7 13 11 England
19 Dec 2007 2:30PM
Hi,
I live in Telford and the same sort of thing happened to me. I was taking pictures on the side of the pavement and a women pulled up in her car and accused me of taking photos of her and demanded that I delete them, I refused and she called the police, when the police came they told her that what I was doing was well within the law and if she did not like it she should write to her local MP and get him to change the law!
The most amazing thing though is that this women was a solicitor!!!
At least the police in Telford know what they are doing if not a small percentage of the legal establishment.
David

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