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Police to investigate Greek embassy incident

12 December 2008

The Metropolitan police has committed to investigating an incident at the Greek embassy on Monday in which journalists were obstructed in their work. The NUJ has welcomed the commitment after journalists complained about their treatment whilst covering a demonstration outside the embassy.

Press Gazette has reported that the police are set to investigate the conduct of one officer who was caught on camera obstructing journalists in their work.

Responding to news of the investigation, Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer, said:

"We welcome the police's rapid response to this incident and hope it indicates a change in attitude by the police in dealing with complaints from the media.
"Police officers must understand that they have a responsibility to the press and cannot obstruct journalists in their lawful work. A signal from the top is needed to show that the this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
"We wait with interest to see the result of the inquiry and offer our full cooperation on the investigation."

In a statement reported by Press Gazette, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson is quoted as saying:

"The officer featured in this clip will be investigated regarding his conduct with a member of the media. There are clear service guidelines that all officers are expected to adhere to that protects the rights of media.
"The Metropolitan Police Service seeks to protect the interests and rights of media to do their job, through educating all our staff within the Service. Before every operation all our staff are briefed as to the role of the media and wherever operationally possible to facilitate them. This was a spontaneous demonstration that at points included outbreaks of disorder, which required an emergency response from police."

Tags: , protests, metropolitan police, press freedom, harassment, investigations, marc vallée, jason parkinson