Gemma Atkinson - 'detained' for filming police search launches high court challenge

The footage filmed by Gemma Atkinson

A woman is to challenge the Metropolitan police in the high court, claiming she was handcuffed, detained and threatened with arrest for filming officers on her mobile phone.

Lawyers for Gemma Atkinson, a 27-year-old who was detained after filming police officers conduct a routine stop and search on her boyfriend, believe her case is the latest example of how police are misusing counterterrorism powers to restrict photography.

Atkinson's mobile phone recorded part of the incident at Aldgate East underground station on 25 March, one month after Section 58(a) – a controversial amendment to the Terrorism Act – came into force, making it illegal to photograph a police officer if the images are considered "likely to be useful" to a terrorist.

Atkinson handed the footage, in which an officer can be heard telling her it is illegal to film police and demanding to see her phone, to the Guardian and said she was seeking to challenge the force in a judicial review. The incident was captured on CCTV.

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