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Policing journos: ministerial meeting

INCREASING police obstruction of journalists in their work is the subject of an upcoming meeting between the NUJ and the Home Office. NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear will meet the new minister for security, counter-terrorism, crime and policing, Vernon Coaker - currently in their diaries for 28 October, with a photocall at 2:15 outside the Home Office in Marsham Street, London SW1. The agenda for the meeting includes police surveillance and obstruction of journalists - especially those photographers and videographers who regularly cover protests. The NUJ will present a dossier of incidents involving the Metropolitan Police's Forward Intelligence Team and their interaction with journalists.

See examples of this in Press Freedom: Collateral Damage, the NUJ's short film featuring several London Freelance Branch photographers and videographers here. Also under discussion at the meeting are "production orders" forcing journalists to hand source material to the police, undermining journalists' ability to get contacts to talk.

Freelance Shiv Malik was recently the subject of one such order to hand over to Greater Manchester Police his notes for a book for which he had interviewed a former "terrorist suspect" (See www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0810shiv.html for details.)

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