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Police undertake not to issue their own press passes again

20 April 2011

NUJ intervention has brought an undertaking that the Lancashire Constabulary will not be issuing their own press passes again. The assurance comes in response to a letter from the NUJ when police used local press passes in Blackburn during a demonstration by the right-wing English Defence League on Saturday, 2 April.

John Toner, NUJ freelance organiser, wrote to the force immediately, expressing astonishment that journalists had been denied access without the police pass.

In response, Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cooke has written:

"I would like to reassure you and your members that we will not be issuing a press pass again for this sort of event, but that we will be asking for recognised accreditation into controlled zones or areas."

John Toner commented:

"This is a welcome response, and I have replied with copies of our leaflets explaining the merits of the UK Press Card.
"I have also asked the UK Press Card Authority to seek a meeting with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who officially recognise the Press Card.
"We need to ensure that all police forces recognise the Press Card and provide access to bearers of the cards."

Tags: , blackburn, police, acpo, press cards, edl, demonstration, press freedom