Just eight days after French Magazine Charlie Hebdo published a special edition, following attacks on its offices, UK police had been given lists of newsagents that planned to sell the magazine.
Emails released by Wiltshire Police show that a list of newsagents in Wiltshire was circulated on 22nd January, three weeks after the attacks.
The emails, which are heavily redacted, indicate that all police forces received details of the shops, in their areas, which were planning to sell the magazine.
“Please note the below list of Wiltshire Newsagents who plan to stock the Charlie Hebdo Magazine,” the emails say.
“There are numerous newsagents across the country who plan to stock the magazine with individual forces left to manage a response as they see fit.”
Wiltshire Police were forced to apologise for taking readers details after the issue was reported in the Guardian. The newspaper was made aware of the issue after Ann Keat, who purchased a copy of the magazine, wrote a letter to the paper’s staff.
Keat is named in the police emails, as one member of staff describes their version of events.
“Approx 2 weeks ago we were requested to visit various newsagents that had ordered in copies of the Charlie Hebdo Magazine,” the unnamed officer says.
The continue to say they were given details of two females who had ordered the magazine, one of these being named as Ann Keat.
The officer then says they asked somebody, the names are redacted, however it is likely that it was the shop’s staff “to keep the police visit confidential”. On her next visit to the shop Keat was then told about the police questioning her purchase of the magazine.
The police account then goes on to say that reporters arrived at the shop after the letter had been published in the Guardian.
The emails can be seen below:
The police’s full response to the FOI request is below: