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No seizure of cameras, recordings from journalists without court order – Suter

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No police officer has the power to seize cameras or any recording from the media, unless that police officer has a court order, authorizing him or her to do so.{{more}}

This information was shared by criminal justice advisor to the Eastern Caribbean at the British High Commission in Barbados, Dan Suter.

“…Members of the media have a duty to take photographs and film incidents and we have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what they record. It is a matter for their editors to control what is published or broadcast, not the police,” Suter said at the launch of two documents by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on May 3.

Suter said once images are recorded, the police have no power to delete or confiscate them without a court order, even if they think they contain damaging or useful evidence.

Suter said he knows of instances where the DPP in the United Kingdom (UK) applied for production orders in relation to evidential material from journalists who have investigated serious crimes, and they have been successful in doing so.

“But you can’t have a situation where a camera is just grabbed off you and taken from you on the basis we want to secure that evidence,” Suter stated.(KW)

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