Police compensate teenager banned from photographing Armed Forces Day Parade

The Press Association reports the latest news on a case taken up by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Dee Doocey and others at the time:

Lawyers say a teenager wrongly stopped by police from taking photographs at a public event in a town centre has been compensated.

[Police officers had] prevented Jules Mattsson – then 15 – from taking pictures at a military parade in Romford, east London, in June 2010 … Law firm Bindmans, which represented the youngster, said … “Despite the public event taking place in the middle of the town centre, Metropolitan Police officers claimed it was unlawful to photograph the parade. The officers, led by an inspector, insisted he stopped taking photographs. The inspector told (Jules) he was a public hazard and said that photographing in public was ‘anti-social behaviour’.

“He described the act of taking photographs as ‘silly’ and ‘gay’ and ‘stupid’. When (Jules) continued to state the lawfulness of his behaviour, the inspector declared it was ‘dangerous’ as he was ‘likely to be trampled on by soldiers’ from the parade…

“It is right the commissioner has promptly apologised and paid a suitable level of damages.”

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This entry was posted in London and News.


  • Chris Nelson 12th Dec '11 - 7:32pm

    The article states that the incident took place in June 2010. Saying sorry 18 months later hardly counts as “promptly apologised”!

    The question needs to be asked – given how blatantly unlawful and undemocratic the behaviour of this rogue police officer was, how on earth has it taken this long to get an apology?

  • No sign whatsoever of any punishment, even the mildest reprimand for the officers involved – whose behaviour was absolutely disgusting and should have meant the sack. Why are the actual police officers in these cases never, ever punished?

  • Its about time the laws on taking photographs were updated and clarified and the police retrained appropriately. Since the emergence of camera phones most of us are carrying cameras virtually all the time.

  • Andrew Suffield 12th Dec '11 - 11:54pm

    Why are the actual police officers in these cases never, ever punished?

    They are, but that’s a separate matter from police compensation and the outcome is not routinely published. The IPCC is usually rigorous in dealing with these matters. However, in the absence of overtly criminal behaviour, the matter ends when the culprit leaves the police force, and people who are likely to get sacked have plenty of warning and tend to resign first. As far as the system is concerned, the offending officer is gone so the problem is resolved. Their purpose is not to kick somebody who failed at their job but did not actually commit a crime.

  • “They are, but that’s a separate matter from police compensation and the outcome is not routinely published.”

    I have never ever heard of one being punished in these cases. Why are the outcomes not punished? Why are we not reassured that police officers are subject to the law? I’ve seen that video and what’s going on is assault and battery – it’s a criminal offence. In a civilised country there would be no question but that that police officer would be sacked immediately and then charged and sent to prison. Why is the officer involved not named and shamed, to use a cliche. It would happen if anyone else behaved like that.

    The police have utterly lost the trust of the public in this country. Cases like this show why.

  • He should have received a written apology from the Chief constable ,countersigned by the officers who were in error (those officers’ promotion prospects will not have been improved). End of story

    Why was he compensated? Did he suffer injury? How much was he paid for this ‘terrible affront’…. I’m sick and tired of our compensation culture’ After all, the money paid comes from taxpayers.

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