Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Woman 'detained' for filming police search launches high court challenge

Gemma Atkinson claims she was handcuffed after recording search of boyfriend on her mobile phone

In what seems to be another sign of the creeping police state the Met appears to be making up its own rules.

The force instructs officers that when searching people under the Terrorism Act, they "have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones". It adds that the new offence relating to photographing officers does not apply in normal policing activities.

However, the Met's guidance, which has been criticised by human rights lawyers and the National Union of Journalists, has not been endorsed by the Home Office, which is drafting its own legal advice for police.

The Met's guidance is different to that issued by the National Policing Improvement Agency, which specifically advises that "officers do not have a legal power to delete images or destroy film", and suggests that, while digital images might be viewed during a search, officers "should not normally attempt to examine them".

A Met spokesman confirmed they had received Atkinson's complaint.

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