Burton editor Burton editor response to PCC

Hazeldine: took six weeks to reply

The Press Complaints Commission has sought to underline the importance of publications making a swift response to any complaints by censuring Burton Mail editor Paul Hazeldine for taking six weeks to reply.

A man from Derbyshire had complained to the PCC that the Burton Mail had intruded into his and his wife’s privacy when they published a story about a burglary, giving his home address, on 28 January. He claimed the Mail had put his property at risk of further burglaries.

His complaint was not upheld, but the commission censured the editor for the delay in responding to its enquiries.

The newspaper said that all of the information contained in the report had come from local police.

It then took the Mail more than six weeks to reply to a further letter from the commission.

The PCC sympathised with the complainant. But it considered that the newspaper was performing an important function in publishing a witness appeal, and noted it was acting on information that apparently came from the police.

The commission also had to bear in mind that potential witnesses would have needed a certain amount of information about the incident in order to come forward.

By Jean Morgan

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