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You Can't Film Democracy - Mother Arrested Over Filming Of Council Meeting

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002682/Campaigner-arrested-filming-council-meeting-says-police-completely-reacted.html

A mother of four arrested and handcuffed after filming a council meeting on her mobile phone may take action against police for their 'heavy handed' approach.

Jacqui Thompson, 49, of Llanwrda, near Carmarthen, West Wales who is campaigning to keep a day centre open, was put in a cell and claimed she was only allowed to leave the police station after giving a written undertaking not to repeat her conduct.

........

Mrs Thompson, who runs the Carmarthenshire Planning Problems blog, had been attending a meeting of the county council at Carmarthen in west Wales which was discussing the day centre.

The council chairman asked Mrs Thompson to leave when she began filming, and when she refused four police officers - two men and two women - arrived within minutes, in two cars.

'It was a complete over reaction, I wasn’t interfering with the meeting. Two officers grabbed me, took me outside the door of the public gallery and handcuffed me. I was searched, my mobile phone taken, then I was driven 30 miles to the police station at Llanelli.

......

She added: “I’ve consulted my solicitor who has written to Dyfed Powys police to seek an explanation. I may take action because what happened was an affront and quite unnecessary in a free country.

'I only signed the undertaking because I was under duress and I’m wondering whether this was legal. They said that otherwise I would have to be kept in overnight to await a court.'

......

The Welsh Assembly have said it is up to individual councils in Wales to decide for themselves whether to allow live blogging, tweeting or filming at meetings.

The boys in blue certainly get there quickly when it really doesn't matter, and it take four of them to arrest 1 person. A big hats off to the police here.

Although the lady in question decided to sign something she didn't understand, why not get a solicitor to advise you before signing?

However it's a disgrace that people can't film meetings in a democratic state.

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The ban on people taking recording devices into courts, parliament and council meetings has been around since such devices were developed. Why do you think (proper) journalists need shorthand? Likewise, court artists?

I think a change in the law is on the horizon, and that wouldn't be a bad thing. Recording devices are no longer intrusive, and don't need all the cables and other paraphanalia to used to require.

The chairman of the meeting was quite right to suspend disussions until the matter was resolved, but calling the police does seem excessive.

But this is a Daily Mail article, so there's certain to be more to the story.

I would guess she was being highly disruptive, and refused repeated reasonable requests to stop breaking the law by filming.

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The ban on people taking recording devices into courts, parliament and council meetings has been around since such devices were developed. Why do you think (proper) journalists need shorthand? Likewise, court artists?

I think a change in the law is on the horizon, and that wouldn't be a bad thing. Recording devices are no longer intrusive, and don't need all the cables and other paraphanalia to used to require.

The chairman of the meeting was quite right to suspend disussions until the matter was resolved, but calling the police does seem excessive.

But this is a Daily Mail article, so there's certain to be more to the story.

I would guess she was being highly disruptive, and refused repeated reasonable requests to stop breaking the law by filming.

I'm afraid you're very wide of the mark - this is nothing to do with the usual daily mail histrionics and she was entirely peaceful, and doing nothing wrong or illegal - the whole thing stinks to high heaven and is more evidence of the erosion of the thin veneer of democracy. Indeed Eric Pickles (Local Government minister) and the freedom of information commissioner, both encourage and support the filming of local council meetings - there is no such ban as you allege.

There is a good report over at the telegraph here, with some good comments :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8568612/Blogger-arrested-for-filming-during-Carmarthen-County-Council-meeting.html

Additionally there are loads of blog articles about it - I first read about it here on a Barnet council blogger's cross-report :-

http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.com/2011/06/camarthenshire-county-council-no-mercy.html

There have been similar problems with filimg in Barnet council meetings (as the blogger above refers to) and members of the public being harassed and threatened and secretly filmed by an unlicensed and unauthorised security firm,

Finally there is also her own blog in which she describes her arrest and detention :-

http://carmarthenplanning.blogspot.com

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:lol::lol: And the UK has the gall to accuse China o human rights abuses.

It doesn't count though if its us abusing rights though does it....

That said you have no rights anyway!

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If anyone feels strongly about this matter should not raise a complaint with the Independant Police Complaints Commision who have a long standing reputation of only dealling with the person in question but raise the complaint with the police force in question, kind of silly really complaining to the bully about the bullys own behaviour! Conflict of interest here me thinks.

:lol:

The IPPC is anything but independent since it is staffed with cops and ex cops who protect their own. A good fascimilie would be the ICAC of the 1960s and 1970s, it was the anti corruption organisation of HK. Often thought of as a joke 'I can accept cash'

To boot if you happen to win a press release will occur saying your are a kiddie fiddler, a rapist or an illegal immigrant. A retraction will be forthcoming but will be buried so everybody misses it.

Check this.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1300608/Robert-Whatleys-car-window-smashed-OAP-dragged-police-officers.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-13726750

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I'm afraid you're very wide of the mark - this is nothing to do with the usual daily mail histrionics and she was entirely peaceful, and doing nothing wrong or illegal - the whole thing stinks to high heaven and is more evidence of the erosion of the thin veneer of democracy. Indeed Eric Pickles (Local Government minister) and the freedom of information commissioner, both encourage and support the filming of local council meetings - there is no such ban as you allege.

There is a good report over at the telegraph here, with some good comments :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8568612/Blogger-arrested-for-filming-during-Carmarthen-County-Council-meeting.html

Additionally there are loads of blog articles about it - I first read about it here on a Barnet council blogger's cross-report :-

http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.com/2011/06/camarthenshire-county-council-no-mercy.html

There have been similar problems with filimg in Barnet council meetings (as the blogger above refers to) and members of the public being harassed and threatened and secretly filmed by an unlicensed and unauthorised security firm,

Finally there is also her own blog in which she describes her arrest and detention :-

http://carmarthenplanning.blogspot.com

I'm sorry, but I'm not wide of the mark at all. You are not allowed to film, record or photograph council meetings.

That's always been the case.

Some council meetings are now being recorded and streamed on line, but that filming is being done by the councils themselves.

If you don't believe me, go to a council meeting. You should see local reporters there and they will be recording the meeting with shorthand notes in little notebooks. If the law had changed, then I'm sure they would all be using dictaphones or somesuch.

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I'm sorry, but I'm not wide of the mark at all. You are not allowed to film, record or photograph council meetings.

That's always been the case.

Some council meetings are now being recorded and streamed on line, but that filming is being done by the councils themselves.

If you don't believe me, go to a council meeting. You should see local reporters there and they will be recording the meeting with shorthand notes in little notebooks. If the law had changed, then I'm sure they would all be using dictaphones or somesuch.

On the contrary, you are now allowed to film and record council meetings by default, unless otherwise stated - there is no specific law against it - in fact the advice from Eric Pickles is that councils should be encouraging this and embracing new media - however some councils though refuse to allow this and have standing orders which do not permit this - carmarthen council do not have standing orders in their meetings about this, so they just decided to make it up on the hoof, and got the police to do their dirty work and harrass this blogger.

Here are some more links for your perusal

http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/newsroom/1850364

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2011/06/public-council-police-thompson

Read some of the links, it's quite an eye-opener.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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