Jess Hurd, a photographer for the Guardian, was detained for 45 minutes by Metropolitan police Dec. 10 for taking video and stills at a Ramada Hotel in east London. Hurd was working on a story about weddings within an itinerent community known as travellers, but police felt she might be doing reconnaissance as a terrorist.
The police justified their actions by saying they are within their rights if they see suspicious activity, especially if it’s in close proximity to a sensitive sight. Apparently the Ramada was close to both the airport and a wharf. It is unclear what is suspicious about a credentialed press photographer outside a wedding reception.
The National Union of Journalists released a statement today that says, in part, “This is yet another absurd misuse of the s44 powers which are designed to allow the police to detain those actively involved in carrying out a terrorist activity not to stop press photographers carrying out their legitimate business.”
The Amateur Photograher blog says Hurd is considering legal action.