Alan Lodge in obstruction verdict shock!

NOTTINGHAM-based freelance photographer Alan Lodge (also known as Tash), was convicted in August of "wilful obstruction of a constable in the execution of his duty". Alan was arrested last March as he photographed an armed police response unit in Nottingham. The court heard that Alan was too close to one police officer and was "in his face". "I walked backwards as I always do," says Alan of the incident.

Alan Lodge ouside the court - photo © Pete Jenkins
Alan Lodge outside court
Twelve court appearances and 18 months later, Alan received a nine-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £400 in court costs.

Shortly before his arrest, Alan's efforts had played a prominent part in the NUJ getting Nottingham Police to adopt guidelines stating that police have no right to arrest someone for taking photographs.

"I am gobsmacked at the outcome", Alan told the Freelance."I hope we can start a debate about what the police/press guidelines are worth - and what are the consequences for police that ignore them? Will relations improve?" Nottingham has a reputation for gun crime, and Alan believes he has "fallen foul of Nottingham Police's sanitising of that issue."

NUJ Nottingham Branch secretary Kevin Stanley said the case "demonstrates the kind of daily challenges faced by all journalists trying to go about their business." Alan is considering whether to appeal his conviction.

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