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Photographer tells of robbery ordeal

A regional press photographer has told how he was robbed by a traveller when he tried to take pictures of illegally parked caravans.

Bristol-based freelance Bob Bowen, who works for regional newspapers including the Evening Post and Clevedon Mercury, was harassed by an angry traveller and forced to hand over £20.

Bob said: “I was taking some pictures when one of the people staying there saw me. He got upset and drove up behind me in his van and asked what I was doing.

“As I made my way back to my car, he blocked me in with his van and I was manhandled as he tried to grab my camera – he was annoyed that I had taken what he termed sneaky pictures and threatened to smash the camera.

“I told him it was a digital and suggested he watch me delete them but then he snatched my car keys.

“He told me to go to the top of the field and take a photograph from there, but then threatened to throw my keys away unless I deleted the pictures.

“He got really aggressive, saying he had no money for diesel and asked for cash – I ended up having to pay him £20 before he would let me go.”

Bob has not made a complaint to the police because he said the travellers would be moving on and it would be unlikely that police would be able to catch his attacker.

He said: “It was not that big a deal – I’m just £20 worse off. It was an unpleasant incident but one of those things that happens from time to time.”

The only other time Bob has been attacked at work was when he was bundled into an office by four people and ordered to hand over film containing pictures of a fire. Police eventually resolved the incident.

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