Police sorry for arresting photographer

A self-employed worker who photographed a police driver ignoring a road sign has spoken out after the offending officer arrested him and locked him in a cell.

Andrew Carter, a plumber, said his “very frightening experience” took place when he protested to a police van reversing up a one-way street to get to a chip shop.

Speaking to reporters, the 44-year-old said that the officer at the wheel, PC Aqil Farooq, shouted back through the window, “F**k off, this is police business.”

Mr Carter then took a photograph of the van from through the shop window, but was approached by the officer who “battered” the camera from out of his hands.

He reportedly claimed he was then handcuffed, arrested for multiple crimes, bundled in the back of the van and promptly locked in a jail cell for five hours.

Although Mr Carter from Bedminster in Bristol, has now received a full and face-to-face apology from PC Farooq, he is seeking compensation for wrongful arrest.

He reflected: “When I took the photograph he came running out, battered the camera from my hand onto the floor and arrested for three crimes, none of which I had committed.”

Mr Carter has not been charged with any offence, and told the Daily Telegraph that he was “relatively” happy with the apology from Avon and Somerset police.

According to the paper, this was issued by deputy chief constable Rob Beckley who chaired a tribunal that PC Farooq’s faced in July for the incident in January, in which he said his officer’s behaviour was “totally unacceptable .”

At the time, PC Farooq, joined by an unnamed colleague, went to the chip shop to investigate some CCTV footage reportedly related to an early incident.

Mr Carter said he never intended for the officer to be sacked but will continue his claim for wrongful arrest, particularly given that “all I had done was to photograph these police officers doing something illegal.”


21st August 2008

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