Ex-Met officer says the arrest of LBC journalist at eco-protest makes him 'shake with anger'

9 November 2022, 14:20

Ex-Met officer speaks to James O'Brien after arrest of Charlotte Lynch

By Grace Parsons

Former police officer tells James O'Brien that he is "absolutely disgusted" regarding the arrest of journalist, Charlotte Lynch.

This LBC caller told James O'Brien: "I am a former Metropolitan police officer, I served for over a decade as a frontline officer and hearing about Charlotte Lynch's story made me shake with anger."

Charlotte's arrest and detention have sparked outrage, with this caller saying: "I was angry at the ordeal that Charlotte Lynch went through as a legitimate journalist. It's very clear, James, that any police officer who actually knows what they're doing understands that the Police and Criminal Evidence Act sets out very clear guidelines about the reasons for arrest."

The caller continued: "All they had to do to avoid the necessity for an arrest was to invite her to sit in the back of their patrol car and ... contact LBC themselves."

Instead, Charlotte recounted: "I'd been there for around 45 minutes before two male officers approached me and questioned what I was doing as I was taking pictures and videos of the protester."

"I immediately showed these officers my press card and explained I worked for LBC ... and I explained I was there reporting on the protest."

She told them that Just Stop Oil had posted on their social media, but "handcuffs were banged onto my hands" and her phone was "immediately snatched away". Charlotte was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance, searched and taken in a custody van to Stevenage police station.

READ MORE: James O’Brien hits out at the ‘profoundly ugly’ arrest of LBC reporter while covering eco-protest

Charlotte Lynch tells James O'Brien she 'just lost it' while being under arrest

The ex-Met officer stated: "What I think happened is that the police officers involved were over-zealous ... I believe they may have had a briefing where they were told you will arrest anyone who you suspect to be involved in some way and I suspect that that's what happened.

"Regarding this case going forward, the caller told James: "I very much hope that Global Radio and Charlotte will be bringing an action against Hertfordshire police for unlawful detention, unlawful use of force, which is assault, and I hope that they will bring a civil action against them."

After being a police officer for over a decade, the caller said he was "absolutely disgusted" that this happened to a journalist in 2022.

READ MORE: 'She shouldn't be arrested for doing her job': Minister blasts cops who nicked LBC reporter covering Just Stop Oil

A Hertfordshire Police spokesperson has said: "Chief Constable Charlie Hall recognises the concerns over the recent arrests of journalists who arrived at these locations and have been present with the protestors at the scenes.

"Additional measures are now in place to ensure that legitimate media are able to do their job. In addition, Mr Hall is today requesting an independent force to examine our approach to these arrests and to identify any learning we should take in managing these challenging situations."

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