Not for them the smaller plains game of tourists and doting fathers wanting a snap of their children on a merry-go-round. They are after one of the Big Five: professional journalists.
And it seems they have two heads for their trophy wall - Anthony Baxter and Richard Phinney:
Baxter and Phinney were arrested as they were interviewing on camera Susie Munro, a resident who objects to the development of the resort. They say the police asked them to turn off the camera, but they refused.Assuming it was in any kind of viewable state when they got it back…
After Baxter again refused to switch it off, their camera was taken forcibly, they say, and Baxter was handcuffed. All that footage is now likely to be used in the film, they said.
It seems this is another part in the ongoing saga of Donald Trump’s golf resort, as Subrosa points out, a very long-running saga indeed:
The two men were arrested as they investigated allegations that contractors working for Trump accidentally cut off the water supply to several local residents, including his fiercest critic Michael Forbes, for several days. The journalists said their camera equipment was held by police for five days, preventing them from filming.Now, I know Scotland’s laws are very different, but surely the right of journalists to go about their work unhindered is still paramount?
Baxter and Phinney, who have worked for the BBC and Channel 4 News and won awards for their films, strenuously deny the allegations against them. They insist that Trump's local manager, Paul O'Connor, freely agreed to be interviewed on camera and that their film proves they entered the building with permission and never filmed any documents.And it seems that the police have had second thoughts too:
In a letter seen by the Guardian, Grampian police said they had given the film-makers written warnings even though there was "sufficient evidence" to report both for breach of the peace.Didn’t want to find out what the Procurator Fiscal would have to say, then?
They can’t entirely count on skinning out their trophies just yet, either:
Paul Holleran, the NUJ's regional organiser in Scotland, said the arrests were unjustified and had important implications for press freedom. A formal letter of complaint has been sent to the Grampian chief constable, Colin McKerracher.Oh, dear. The police should remember that, in hunting any dangerous game, you need to make your first shot count.
"This is a blatant example of police interference aimed at stopping bona fide journalists from doing their job," Holleran said. "Their footage shows they were asking very pertinent questions in a mannerly fashion as befits professional journalists. I believe this is a breach of human rights, and we are taking legal advice. I think this must be one of the first cases in this country of journalists being arrested for just carrying out interviews to establish the truth and hold people to account."
Or you're going to get mauled...