Kent Police issues unreserved apology to NUJ Photographer Andy Aitchison

Kent Police has issued a full apology to journalist and photographer Andy Aitchison. The apology includes admissions that Mr Aitchison’s arrest, the search of his property and the imposition of bail conditions and fixed penalty notice were all unlawful.

Mr Aitchison was arrested at his home on 28 January 2021 and detained after taking photographs of activists protesting outside a controversial asylum camp outside Napier Barracks, in Folkestone. He was held in custody for over five hours before he was released with bail conditions which prohibited him from going near the site. The case was dropped a week later with a decision to refuse charges as there was no evidence against him.  Soon after his arrest, the Kent Police issued a “fixed penalty notice” to Mr Aitchison, for an alleged breach of the lockdown regulations.

Mr Aitchison’s legal team successfully overturned the fixed penalty notice and subsequently sought an award of damages and an apology. The Kent Police has now paid Mr Aitchison damages and given him a full public apology.

Mr Aitchison was represented by Jude Bunting who was instructed by Rachel Harger and Jules Carey of Bindmans LLP.

News coverage can be found here and the Bindmans press release is available here.