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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Police video tactics cause dismay
The Sellafield plant employs thousands in west Cumbria
Police have been accused of intimidating a group of protesters who staged a religious service outside Sellafield nuclear plant.

Local councillor Peter Watson claims Cumbria Police took an excessive number of pictures of the demonstrators, who included children.

The members of peace group Interfaith gathered at the plant to call for an end to nuclear power.

Cumbria Police said they used normal tactics in monitoring protests.

Mr Watson, of Copeland Borough Council, said he attended the demonstration as an observer and did not agree with the protesters' calls to end nuclear power production.

'Negative impression'

He said: "I was really dismayed when I saw this group of people being photographed by a large number of police officers with "crime scene" written on their backs.

"What made me feel most unhappy was that the officers were creating such a negative and defensive impression of the nuclear industry which so many people in this area depend upon for their livelihood."

The group, which is marching to London, staged the protest on Friday.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said the use of photographic equipment was standard procedure and that the inclusion of any children in photographs would be purely incidental.

He said: "It is normal police tactics to use cameras, video footage and head-mounted cameras to monitor protests and other major events."

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