Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 17:50 UK

Cameraman held under terror laws

Kent police officers arrest photographer
Mr Turner photographed the officers, who arrested him

Kent Police are investigating a complaint by a photographer that he was arrested in Chatham under terrorism laws because he was "suspicious".

Alex Turner said police were called when he refused to identify himself to two men who challenged him as he was photographing a disused flyover.

He said he has been stopped nearly a dozen times under terror laws.

Police voluntarily told the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who ordered them to investigate it locally.

Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas said: "Our officers are extremely vigilant and their primary concern is always the safety of the public.

"At the time of this incident, a police officer responded to a report concerning a man who was taking photographs of buildings and people in Chatham town centre.

"When challenged by the police officer the man refused to give any personal details which it was thought was suspicious.

Police logo

"As a result, he was arrested and asked to wait in a police vehicle while his details were checked.

"He was released a short time later after these details had been properly verified, and no further action has been taken.

"A formal complaint has subsequently been made in relation to this incident which has been recorded and an investigation has commenced."

Mr Turner was unwilling to be interviewed about the incident.

But on his online blog he wrote: "I've been stopped nearly a dozen times under section 44 (of the Terrorism Act 2000). Up until now I've always provided my details.

"Today I decided not to. Seems that when I choose to exercise my rights I get arrested, cuffed and detained for doing so."

In his official complaint to the police, reproduced on his blog, he said: " I was initially stopped by two men in the High Street.

"The men did not identify themselves though stated that they worked for Medway Council.

"I saw a badge attached to one of the men's waistband and saw the logo of Kent Police."

On another blog, a group of Kent photographers say they are planning a peaceful protest against the arrest next month.



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