Nine photo-journalists were detained en route to covering yesterday’s demo in Brighton

Tim Lezard

Sussex PoliceThe NUJ is looking into taking legal action against Sussex Police after officers stopped and searched nine photographers on their way to cover yesterday’s far fight demonstration in Brighton.

A group of nine photojournalists were travelling to the city in a minibus when police signalled they should follow them off the road at Hickstead.

Although they immediately informed the police officers that they were press and not part of the protest, producing their press cards, the journalists were nevertheless subjected to a search for offensive weapons.

The laws cited were Section 60 of the Terrorism Act and Section 60AA of the Public Order Act.

Seven of the nine were searched, and after 20-30 minutes were allowed to continue their journey to Brighton.

Sussex Police later Tweeted: “We apologise, this was a mistake by an individual officer and quickly acted upon.”

However, the video evidence shows clearly that it was not a mistake by an individual officer and there is no evidence that it was acted upon quickly.

NUJ freelance organiser, John Toner said: “This was an unlawful use of the legislation to detain and search journalists. Sussex Police now seem to be aware of their blunder and we hope the officers concerned are given training in dealing with media workers.

“We will be taking legal advice on whether there is a potential claim against Sussex Police.”

Twenty people were arrested at yesterday’s march

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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