BBC, ITN, BSkyB and Channel 5 win Dale Farm ruling
The police were blocked from seizing television footage yesterday, in a landmark High Court ruling to protect "the neutrality of the press".
Judges quashed orders obtained by Essex Police that forced several TV companies to hand over images shot during the violent evictions of travellers at the Dale Farm site near Basildon last October.
The BBC, ITN, BSkyB and Channel 5 were among those to challenge the order, insisting it was simply a "fishing expedition" and threatened the safety of journalists by turning them into police informants.
Yesterday judges at the High Court ruled that Judge Gratwicke, who made the orders at Chelmsford Crown Court in February, had gone wrong in law. Laying down guidelines, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Eady, said the police were entitled, under the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace) to seek material "likely to contain evidence" of offenders committing acts of violence. But they warned "the neutrality of the press" must be protected.
Applications had to be backed by "clear and specific evidence" that the material would be "of substantial value" in seeking to prosecute violent offenders. In the Dale Farm case, there was inadequate evidence, the judges ruled. The police wanted access to "a vast amount of film" for "a merely speculative exercise".
Fran Unsworth, the BBC's head of news gathering, said: "Journalists must not be seen as evidence gatherers."
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
£25 - 30k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are looking for an Accoun...
£25k Basic (DOE) – (£30k year 1 OTE) : Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright A...
£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright R...
£25 - 40k (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Web Desig...