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Threat of arrest for RTA photographer

A senior press photographer is off work with stress and anxiety after being forced to hand over his film at the scene of a road traffic accident under threat of arrest.

The incident happened at Morley, when Peter Vickers (58), spotted a road accident on his way back to the office from a previous job.

His editor-in-chief at the Wakefield Express, Ed Asquith, said Peter was forced to hand over the film, which was damaged as it was wound back through the camera.

  • The accident scene
  • Then later, after an apology from West Yorkshire police’s press office, the photographer went to collect his film and was harangued by a sergeant at the police station.

    Ed Asquith said his photographer’s difficulties had come on the same day as the paper published news about an amateur video cameraman seemingly capturing on film a police officer hitting and kicking a member of the public.

    He added: “But this was nothing to do with that and there were no grounds for arrest or even demanding the film from the accident.

    “He had been on a job and had he been in the area and not done anything he would probably have been in lumber when he got back for missing it.

    “Peter has been here 30 years. He does his job well and was quite a distance back from the accident.

    “We’re just putting the paper to bed and I don’t think we’ve even used the photo in question. We’ve carried the story, of course, but in this instance a picture didn’t add to it.”

    The editor has submitted a formal complaint to West Yorkshire Police and contacted the Society of Editors, which fights for the rights of the press and freedom of information.

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