Met accused of ‘protester database’

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-03-07 17:36:09 Met accused of ‘protester database’ 8 hours 11 mins ago   The Met Police force has denied holding a database of thousands of campaigners, demonstrators and political protesters. Related photos / videos Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, outside New Scotland Yard in London Related content But according to an investigation carried out by the Guardian newspaper, police are targeting thousands of protesters in surveillance operations and storing their details on a database for seven years. The newspaper said information gathered through the Freedom of Information Act, court testimony, an interview with a senior Metropolitan Police officer and surveillance footage revealed police were storing names, photographs and video footage of activists without their knowledge. But the Met said information was only entered on a database where it was “legally justified” in accordance with “strict national guidelines”. A force spokesman said: “The Met Police Public Order Branch does not hold a database of protesters. Officers are required to fill in a report detailing their deployment and interactions with the public during their tour of duty. “This is not specific to public order policing. Details will include vulnerable premises visited and details of anyone stopped and searched. “The vast majority of people attending demonstrations will be of no interest to police – they will only become of interest to police when their behaviour leads them to suspect that the person may be organising and planning disorder or criminal offences at events.” Liberty, the human rights group, is challenging police surveillance tactics in a judicial review at the court of appeal. Their legal officer, Corinna Ferguson, told the newspaper: “A searchable database containing photographs of people who are not even suspected of criminal activity may well violate privacy rights under article 8 of the Human Rights Act. “It is particularly worrying if peaceful protesters are being singled out for surveillance.” Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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