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August 20, 2015

Former royal protection officer says police need to deal with Prince George paparazzi

By Conori Bell-Bhuiyan

Ken Wharfe, former Scotland Yard protection officer to Princess Diana, has told BBC Radio 4’s Media Show that he believes a Kensington Palace letter condemning paparazzi tactics was an “over the top approach”, and blamed the warning on police not communicating with photographers.

Prince William’s communications secretary Jason Knauf issued the warning letter last week, accusing paparazzi of using “increasingly dangerous” and “extreme” tactics – such as hiding out in car boots and using other children as bait – in order to get unauthorised images of the young Prince George and his sister.

“It seems to me that from a policing point of view there is a lack of communication to deal with the problem at source”, said Wharfe. “It would appear to me that Scotland Yard’s finest have failed to communicate and deal with this matter at source.”

Wharfe also didn’t believe that paparazzi tactics have been getting increasingly worse. “The tactics haven’t changed”, he said.

“I recall when William was five and Harry was three, leaving the side door at Kensington Palace and having to kick out the paparazzi staked out in the yew trees at the back of the garden…So I don’t think things have changed.

“It seems a rather over the top approach by the comms director.”

Evening Standard royal reporter Robert Jobson also spoke on the Media Show, saying that while Prince William may want his children to “be treated like any other children…they’re not. They’re public figures in a public place.”

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He said that while the paparazzi tactics were not illegal “sitting outside playgrounds taking pictures of children, whether they’re royal or not, is obviously a problem – and it’s a little bit creepy”.

 

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