FIT photos ‘collateral damage’

THE POLICE can "restrict or monitor photography in reasonable circumstances" according to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, responding to a letter from NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear about police obstruction of photographers, especially by the Metropolitan Police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT). NUJ freelance organiser John Toner met FIT officers in June. He was told that bona fide press photographers are not targeted and images of photographs gathered by the FIT are "collateral damage" during demonstrations are deleted. See The Journalist for more on this.

Police officers searching journalists from the Kent Times (above) and from Meridian Television during the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in Kent in August, before allowing them to report.

Photographers at the August Climate Camp in Kingsnorth, Kent, told Press Gazette they were the target of police surveillance as they filed material from the protest using the wi-fi of a local McDonald's™.

If you reported from the Climate Camp and were stopped or filmed by police, please contact the Freelance Office if you have not yet done so. You can report policing incidents (including courteous and helpful policing) via the form at

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