CAAT victory

IssueJune 2009
News by Kaye Stearman

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) welcomed the ruling on 21 May, by the court of appeal, that the Metropolitan police broke the law in its routine surveillance of lawful and peaceful activity, including storing photographs on police computers.

On 27 April 2005, police officers openly photographed and followed CAAT staff and supporters after they had attended an AGM of a public company, Reed Elsevier, in their capacity as shareholders, to question directors about the acquisition of Spearhead, an arms fairs company. One of those followed and photographed was Andrew Wood, then press officer for CAAT, who the court of appeal decided was entitled to the protection of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, giving a right to privacy.

Though the police photography was in a public place, there was a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the photography could not be separated from its use: the creation of a police file.