Croydon Advertiser reporter held by police

A weekly newspaper reporter was detained by police during a protest – but escaped to carry on reporting.

Last Friday the Croydon Advertiser’s Joshua Layton was covering a protest outside a Government immigration holding centre by a group campaigning against immigration controls.

Layton said: ‘I was chatting to a few protesters, making notes. I noticed further up the road there was some pushing and shoving but I couldn’t see what was happening.

‘I got shoved into a corner between a phone box and a wall [by the police].’

Layton, who was named reporter of the year (weekly) in this year’s Regional Press Awards, said officers read out section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986. Section 14 says police have the power ‘to prevent serious public disorder, serious criminal damage or serious disruption to the life of the community”. It can also specify the location, size and duration of public meetings.

‘Me and four protesters were hemmed in by officers who were pushing me with their arms out,’Layton added. ‘I said I was with the Advertiser but they said ‘that doesn’t matter’.”

The reporter says he was held for around four minutes before escaping through a gap behind the phone box to carry on reporting on the event.

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