Police criticised for delay in quizzing 'assault' claim officer - Press Gazette

Police criticised for delay in quizzing 'assault' claim officer

Greater Manchester Police have been criticised for taking three months to interview an officer accused of assaulting a press photographer.

GMP’s Professional Standards Branch finally interviewed the officer under caution last month.

But Stuart Littleford, editor of the Government and Public Sector Journal, first lodged the complaint back in November 2011.

He claims he was injured by the officer while trying to take photographs of a car crash in Oldham.
The Chartered Institute of Journalists took Littleford’s case.

General Secretary Dominic Cooper said: “I am astonished that an officer who is accused of assault can so easily give the PSB the run-around for best part of three months.

“I wonder whether the same opportunity would be afforded to a member of the general public who was accused of a similar crime?

“I would have thought that where a member of the police stands accused of such a crime, there would be an increased urgency by the police force concerned to resolve the issue and restore confidence.”

Mr Cooper added: “It shows either an utter contempt by the officer concerned for the Police Standards Branch or that this matter is not being taken seriously by any of the parties implicated.”

A GMP spokesman said: ‘We take all complaints about officers’ conduct extremely seriously and we endeavour to investigate all such matters thoroughly and fairly.”

GMP reminded its officers that they must not stop the press from taking photographs in public places after an incident involving Littleford in November.

Cleland Thom is a consultant and trainer in media law



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