Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 15:58 UK

Woman 'held for filming officers'

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Woman 'cuffed for filming police'

A woman is seeking a judicial review after she was allegedly detained and handcuffed by police who tried to get her mobile phone after she filmed them.

Gemma Atkinson said police stopped her boyfriend Fred Grace at Aldgate East station on suspicion of carrying drugs.

As she filmed the incident in March in east London an officer asked her to stop, citing anti-terror laws. Officers tried to take the phone, she claims.

The Metropolitan Police said it had received a complaint.

Ms Atkinson, 27, said police found no drugs on her boyfriend during the search on 25 March, but then turned their attention to her.

I was pushed into this alcove in the station and I was yanked up and down for quite a while before I was handcuffed
Gemma Atkinson

Ms Atkinson said: "I was still filming when a man [a plainclothes officer] came to me and told me that it was illegal under the Terrorism Act to film police officers.

"I put the phone in my pocket so he couldn't get to it, he was asking for me to hand it over which I refused to do.

"So then he got other officers to come and hold both my arms then come at me to try and get my phone out of my pocket.

"I was pushed into this alcove in the station and I was yanked up and down for quite a while before I was handcuffed," she said.

She has complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Met and is now taking the issue to the High Court.

Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson said she was handcuffed and held by three officers

Her lawyer Raju Bhatt, from Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, said: "There is nothing in the Terrorism Act which permits the police to prevent you or me from filming them in the ordinary course of events in the absence of some suspicion of connection with terrorism.

"Here the issue is the extent to which we are going to permit police officers to avoid scrutiny of their actions by invoking these powers in abuse of what Parliament intended."

A spokesman for the Met said: "We have received a complaint relating to an alleged incident on 25 March at Aldgate East Tube station.

"The Directorate of Professional Standards is investigating and at this stage no officers have been suspended."

The Met said it would be "inappropriate" to comment further.



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