BBC asked to hand over footage from protests by police

The Metropolitan Police has asked BBC journalists if it would be willing to hand over footage of last month’s anti-cuts demonstrations in London to aid its investigation into outbreaks of violence and vandalism that took place.

The move has already been criticised by the National Union of Journalists, which warned journalists of the risks in handing material over to the police. General Secretary Jeremy Dear called it a “fishing trip”, adding: “It is important we do not allow the police to use journalists as information gatherers for their purposes. Such a move places all journalists at greater risk when covering public order issues and stops sources coming forward.”

Although the Met has released a statement saying it is only considering the move, Dear revealed that police have already approached several of the BBC’s NUJ-members in the hope of obtaining unbroadcasted material that could identify bands of militant activists that caused damage throughout the protests.

Police are looking for 18 activists who played a part in the scenes of violence that erupted on the 26 March protests against the government’s economic cuts.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

Photo taken by Flickr user The Happy Robot, licensed under Creative Commons.

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