Journalist agrees to hand over part of demo footage to police - Press Gazette

Journalist agrees to hand over part of demo footage to police

The National Union of Journalists has praised a video journalist for refusing to hand over full footage from a demonstration to the police.
Greater Manchester Police made a production order application for around 50 minutes of Jason Parkinson's recordings at a Unite Against Fascism counter protest against the English Defence League's demonstration in Bolton in 2010.
The application for the full recording ­ – described by the NUJ as a "fishing expedition" – ­ was rejected this week but Parkinson did agree to hand over five minutes of footage, which would provide relevant evidence for a
specific arrest.
According to the NUJ the police did not provide the specific information they required for an investigation for four months.
Parkinson agreed to hand over the specific footage after he was told that police were seeking to fill a three second gap in their own footage, which it said could be of "substantial value".
According to the union, the material related to a "very serious charge against a police officer of attempting to pervert the course of justice".
It then emerged that the important footage being sought after related to an anti-fascist protester, Alan Clough, being arrested.
The union said the police had agreed not to retain the footage after its investigation and agreed to pay costs.
The NUJ compared this case to another involving Parkinson in which it fought against an Essex Police application to obtain his footage from two days covering the eviction of Irish travelers from Dale Farm in 2012.
A judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice overturned the unlawful production order.
Parkinson said: "We have again defended journalistic material from another police fishing trip, we have challenged the production order, forced the authorities to obey the law to the letter and we have stopped them  retaining the footage for any future intelligence databases."



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