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M25 traffic: Journalist arrests ‘wrong’ during protests, police commissioner says

A photographer, film-maker and LBC reporter covering Just Stop Oil protests were taken into custody this week

Thomas Kingsley,Zoe Tidman
Thursday 10 November 2022 15:04 GMT
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Just Stop Oil activist dangles legs over M25 gantry on second day of protests

A police commissioner has admitted officers “got it wrong” by arresting members of the press covering Just Stop Oil protesters on the M25.

A photographer, film-maker and LBC reporter were all taken into custody by Hertfordshire Police this week.

David Lloyd, the police and crime commissioner for the force, told LBC: “I am certain that there was no reason to arrest them such as you have given. As I said at the outset I think we got it wrong.”

Meanwhile Just Stop Oil returned to overhead gantries along the M25 on Thursday for the fourth day in a row.

The climate group once again shut down roads and caused delays along the motorway to call for an end to all new oil and gas. Traffic was brought to a standstill near Heathrow in the morning.

The Metropolitan, Surrey and Essex Police all arrested individuals over the action on Thursday.

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That’s all from us for today. Thanks for following.

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 14:57
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Photographer ‘incensed’ at police search of house

A press photographer arrested covering a Just Stop Oil protest said he was asked to hand over his wedding ring and was “incensed” to find police had searched his house.

Read more:

Journalist arrested at Just Stop Oil protest ‘incensed’ as police searched house

Police entered home while wife and daughter were there, press photographer Tom Bowles says

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 14:48
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‘Proactive patrol’ stop car with climbing equipment near M25

Kent Police says it arrested five suspected activists this morning during “proactive patrols” near the M25.

Officers found climbing equipment and banners in a car:

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 14:18
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Eleven charged overnight

The Metropolitan Police said there were 11 people were charged overnight in connection with Just Stop Oil protests on the M25.

They were all due to appeal in courts across the country today.

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 13:33
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Essex Police praised ‘brave’ officers

Essex Police has praised officers for arresting an activist on the M25 today.

“It was great work this morning from our officers who were brave, stopped someone near a gantry and made an arrest,” ACC Glen Pavelin said.

“When criminality is occurring, we will act swiftly and make arrests.”

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 12:55
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Just Stop Oil discuss journalist arrests

New tweet from Just Stop Oil:

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 12:33
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‘Dangeous overreach'

Jun Pang, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Liberty said: “A free, independent press is a vital part of a functioning democracy, and should not be interfered with.

“For the Police and Crime Commissioner to instruct the media to reconsider how they cover protests is a dangerous overreach.

“This, and the recent arrests of journalists and protesters, are being enabled and encouraged by a Government that continues to hand out sweeping powers to the police, creating a hostile environment for protesters and an increasingly dangerous working environment for journalists.”

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 12:13
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Journalists hit back at police and crime commissioner comments

Ramzy Alwakeel, the head of news at openDemocracy, said the organisation was “deeply disturbed” by David LLoyd’s comments.

“Our job is to report facts and context, not to censor events to suit the authorities or special interests. It’s not the job of the police to tell us what protests we can or cannot cover,” he told The Independent.

Meanwhile the British Association of Journalists said it was a non-political trade union and does not make statements on political issues.

“However, the comments this morning on LBC by David Lloyd have left us flabbergasted,” it said in a statement, adding: “We are at a loss for words. “

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 11:42
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Media should think about Just Stop Oil coverage, police and crime commissioner says

The Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner appeared to blame journalists for not covering Just Stop Oil protests “appropriately” after the force was heavily criticised for arresting members of the press.

David Lloyd said journalists should be “thinking about” whether it was right to give the protests the “oxygen of publicity”.

He drew a comparison with how he imagined the press would report on a person trying to take their own life on a ring road, which he did not think would be covered “in the same way”.

“The question I’m pushing back to you is that fine line between reporting the news and making the news and whether or not that is crossed on occasion by reporting it in such a sensational way,” he told LBC.

Watch here:

And here:

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 11:25
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Police chief offers begrudging apology for arrest of journalist

The Police and Crime Commissioner of Hertfordshire Police admitted the force “got it wrong” by arresting journalists trying to cover Just Stop Oil protests on the M25.

Asked on LBC about the detention of a LBC reporter, as well as a documentary maker and a photographer, David Lloyd said: “I am certain that there was no reason to arrest them such as you have given. As I said at the outset I think we got it wrong.”

Pushed for an apology, Lloyd said he had been brought on radio as a “sacrificial lamb”, but added: “It seems she shouldn’t have been [arrested], and for that I apologise.”

Zoe Tidman10 November 2022 11:01

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