Watch for Met helplines

NUJ FREELANCE Organiser John Toner says of the student protests and kettling in Whitehall, "A number of photographers have been in touch to commend the police treatment of media workers at the 24 November demonstration. Officers checked Press Cards and afforded access to holders of current cards. The NUJ National Executive Council has agreed we should write to the police to thank them and express our hope that such good relations will continue."

The Metropolitan Police have recently been passing on to the Freelance Office their helpline numbers for journalists encountering any difficulties with police officers while covering particular demonstrations in London, such as the 30 November Trafalgar Square "Day X2" student protests.

With continuing anti-cuts protests - and police operations in response to them - being planned often at very short notice, watch for Metropolitan Police helpline numbers for working journalists covering particular protests. These may go up as little as 24 hours in advance of the event, so keep watching this space.

The Freelance has heard of a few cases of journalists with UK Press Cards covering the November 24 protests being told by police officers that they had "instructions" not to let them out of the kettle.

As ever, please forward any intelligence on the police being particularly helpful or obstructive towards you in the course of your work, via the policing report form

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