CO6 and the Press
In recent weeks there have been a number of occasions when officers from CO6, whilst carrying out their protection role, have had dealings with photographers and camera operators from various sections of the media. The officers have intervened or hindered these photographers from taking pictures of the principal who was the subject of CO6 protection. It must be pointed out that it is in no way part of the role of CO6 to prevent the press from doing their job if it does not compromise the safety of the person being protected. Regardless of whether we agree with their role and methods or not, representatives of the media are entitled to do their job without unnecessary interference from police officers.
The following is an excerpt from Guidelines for MPS staff on dealing with media reporters, press photographers and television crews:
“1. Members of the media have a duty to take photographs and film incidents and we have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what they record. It is a matter for their editors to control what is published or broadcast, not the police. Once images are recorded, we have no power to delete or confiscate them without a court order, even if we think they contain damaging or useful evidence.”
“Please bear this in mind should you have dealings with the press in the future.”