Britney's paparazzi following prompts 'personal safety zone' law

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Washington, Feb 2 : Britney Spears' huge paparazzi following has inspired a Los Angeles City Councilman to propose an ordinance to create a "personal safety zone" between celebs and the ever-hounding media.

The motion was introduced by councilman Dennis Zine, a former cop, on Feb 1.

"I don't want a repeat of what happened to Princess Diana with a celebrity in Los Angeles. We had to have 12 officers escort [Spears] to the hospital that if not for paparazzi would have been [available] to prevent crime somewhere else," E! Online quoted him, as telling the L.A. Times.

Zine said the measure would require several feet of space between photographers and celebrities to ensure a "personal safety zone."

"This is about common decency. We don't want to put the media out of business, but there has to be some reason when they do their job," he said.

Zine's motion proposing the ordinance said the buffer space must be big enough to allow cars and people to pass safely. It did not specify what penalties, if any, someone would face if someone violated the measure.

Last month, Spears was taken from her home by paramedics amid a frenzy of photographers who crowded and chased the ambulance. This week she was again hospitalised, but a host of police vehicles and a helicopter escorted the ambulance.

The Los Angeles Times reported the motorcade cost the Los Angeles Police Department an estimated 25,000 dollars.

The motion notes that the paparazzi "are becoming increasingly aggressive in their tactics, posing a clear danger not only to the people they are trying to photography, but to the general public around them."

"It has gotten outrageous. If we don't do anything, we could see someone seriously injured or killed," Zine said.

Zine's motion asks the city attorney and police officials to propose new restrictions on paparazzi to be discussed at the City Council's Public Safety Committee hearing in coming weeks, where photographers as well as actors could testify.

Zine said he hoped it would win council approval and take effect in about six months.

ANI

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