Police should stop routine surveillance of reporters and photographers covering demonstrations in London, the National Union of Journalists has told Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear made the call in a letter to Smith after receiving complaints that journalists, particularly photographers, were facing what amounted to harassment by members of the Metropolitan Police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT).
Dear said the NUJ had serious concerns about the FIT’s activities in monitoring and recording the activities of bona fide journalists, especially photographers.
“A number of members have alleged that the police’s surveillance action amounts to virtual harassment and is a serious threat to their right to carry out their lawful employment,” he said.
The FIT had a responsibility to provide intelligence to police on individuals who might be involved in public order issues, and people whose likenesses were kept by police were given four-figure Photographic Reference Numbers and held on a database. …
Not sure what involvement journalists would have in public order issues.