Online only

Nato Summit Newport, Wales September 4-5 2014

National Union Of Journalists

Guidance For NUJ members and members of IFJ and EFJ affiliated trade unions when dealing with police or private security personnel:

  • remain calm, polite and reasonable at all times
  • immediately confirm you are working as a journalist show your Press Card and inform that it can be verified by its PIN number
  • ACPO [Association Of Chief Police Officers] media guidelines confirm that the police have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what journalists record.
  • Under the Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) the police have no power to seize journalistic material without a court order.
  • Always try to resolve issues at the time, communicate.

Do Not Physically Resist

  • Private security personnel on public property generally have no additional rights other than that of an ordinary citizen.
    You can be asked to leave whilst photographing or reporting on private property; you could be arrested and charged with trespass if you refuse.

If you are involved in an incident

  • Try to film or record the conversation so that there is a record of that.
  • get witness names and contact details, also badge numbers of police officers

Police Powers

Stop and Search - Police And Criminal Evidence (Pace) Act 1984

You don't have to give your details but it is best to cooperate with that. Show your Press Card and be prepared to have your card verified by its PIN number.

Under this act, the police must:

  • provide their ID, name and police station
  • tell you the object of proposed search
  • provide a search record (important in case of any later legal action)
  • Call NUJ emergency number below

If arrested

  • You will be taken to a police station. Police are not entitled to seize journalistic material without a court order of a judge.
  • make sure custody record logs your journalistic material (kit/phone/memory cards etc), protected under pace as "Special Procedure Material". Make a note of the seal numbers on the evidence bags, ensure they are listed on the custody record.
  • You have the right to inform someone of your arrest. Police must ensure this happens swiftly.

Police liasion phone numbers

The NATO summit numbers for liaison between police and lens-based journalists are:

  • 01633 645 761/767/777.

Any lens-based journalist who is denied access to places that they are entitled to go can call one of those numbers. The office will be staffed 24 hours until 11pm on Saturday 6 September.

  • For NUJ Emergency legal advice call

mobile 800 587 7530 or 07967 730038 or landline 0800 587 7530

  • File a report to - and for further legal advice - please contact NUJ Legal Department on or call 0207 843 3704 or 07921 700 352
Last modified: 03 Sep 2014 - © 2014 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: