Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Well, he does if his account is accepted. The reality is that we both know what Magistrates are like and probably they will disbelieve him. Not always in fairness but far too often.
That is why it is never a good idea to let this situation develop. There are lots of offences that cover quite mild antagonistic behaviour like obstructing. The police have far too much power and sometimes they abuse it and the way they head of complaints is often to claim assault.
Mind you, in fairness, that is how women escape the consequence of their behaviour all the time so it is not just the police.
If he was filming from a distance though and not encouraging others to intervene or otherwise obstructing the officers in any way then I cannot immediately see a justification for arrest. I suppose I haven't heard their account though. I don't know whether they are saying they were trying to seize the phone as evidence.
the reality is that it is quite unlikely that they will accept that they charged at him when he was doing nothing to obstruct at all.
However, if you can get over that hurdle then any assault would be unlawful and he would be entitled to resist.
The only other thing I can think of is that they are saying that they were trying to arrest him for the initial obstructing. It is possible to argue that filming an incident very close to that incident has the effect of obstructing an officer. You don't have to do very much to obstruct an officer. Anything that makes his task harder is caught. Filming could have the effect of emboldening the crowd. But not really from a distance.
the footage on the phone isn't really relevant to this incident though. He isn't saying that he was acting in defence of another at the time they arrested him?
Can I clarify anything for you?
No, it is not right to say that just because nobody was charged no offence is committed. It just doesn't follow logically.
One can still obstruct a police officer even though no person was arrested.
I would imagine the way they will escape is to say that they were trying to seize evidence under PACE and he resisted which is the assault.
On the face of it, he doesn't have a defence to that - if that is the way they are running this.
It is never easy to win these things which is why you should always avoid antagonising officers.
I don't go to the Magistrates much anymore. I used to find that you almost never won on a dispute over fact but you could sometimes get them to admit they had acted unlawfully largely because they don't usually know the law.
It is always a low chance though I'm afraid.
If they are saying they were seizing evidence and he accepts resisting then that is an offence.
They only have to show they were investigating.
And anyway the fact there was no charge does not mean no crime has been committed.
They wanted the phone because they use phone seizures to punish people who are filming them.
Of course, they shouldn't do that but it is a common practice of the police.I'm afraid it is why it is never a good idea to antagonise them.
All the best.