1. ITV Report

Police officer investigated after telling photographer: 'You're lucky I didn't knock you out'

The man secretly recorded the traffic officer on his mobile phone. Photo:

Police are investigating a traffic officer who was seen on video threatening to make a photographer's life "a living hell" unless he deleted images on his camera.

The 26-year-old had been taking pictures of a crash scene in Churchdown, Gloucester, where an 86-year-old pedestrian was fatally injured.

The officer had taken exception to the man, who has asked to remain anonymous, taking photographs at the crash scene and alleged that the man was "obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty" in November last year.

Unknown to the officer, the amateur journalist filmed the exchange on his mobile phone and recorded the policeman telling him: "You're lucky I didn't knock you out."

Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said he had called for the force to examine the incident "with the utmost urgency".

The full-length recording is at the bottom of this article but the key moments are highlighted here:

1. Police officer tells the man he has no right to take pictures on a crime scene

2. Police officer seizes camera and tells the man he must delete all his images

3. Officer suggests only professional members of press can take photographs on crime scene

"Until you show me your Press Association pass or something like that, you're not having your camera back."

4. Officer admits swearing at man and threatens him

"You're lucky I didn't knock you out, to be fair."

His justification of swearing at the man is: "It got your attention, didn't it?"

A member of the public intervenes and tells the man he is "lucky you are not being arrested at the moment."

"We'll nick you now, and I will make your day living hell because you will be in that cell all day," the officer threatens further.

5. Officer tells the man he must delete his images in front of him

"Are we going to negotiate about what we can and can't have or are we going to seize the camera, and then I'll forensically take the images off there, and then I'll prosecute you for obstructing a police officer."

The amateur photographer is heard insisting that the officer's suggestion is not legal.

After examining the images on the camera together, the officer agrees that none of the pictures need to be deleted and the man is allowed to leave without arrest.

Commissioner Martin Surl said: "I have only seen the public facing evidence, but it appears the officer swore at a member of the public, follows that up by saying he was lucky not to have been assaulted by the police, is threatened with arrest, mistreatment and a remand in custody."

"I appreciate the work of the police can be very challenging, but no matter what the situation they should deal with the public in a civil and responsible manner at all times.

"It is the responsibility of the Chief Constable to manage complaints against police officers; my role is to hold the police to account. It appears the officer involved has fallen far short of the behaviour expected and required by the Constabulary.

"I hope this incident will not cause the public to lose faith in the good work done every day by the majority of hard working, dedicated officers which is why I have asked for this issue to be dealt-with with the utmost urgency".

The photographer said he had started to take pictures while on his way to a shop.

"I known I'm allowed to take pictures on public land," he told the Gloucester Citizen.

The original video was posted on YouTube on 20th November 2013, one day after it was filmed: