The Metropolitan Police has released a background briefing containing its “press lines” on the case of a woman who lay dead in her flat for two years after the Information Commissioner intervened following a complaint from the BBC, but insists it only gives such information to journalists.
But the police insist they have only disclosed the document to the BBC’s Martin Rosenbaum because he is a journalist, and would not done so if the request had come by ‘a member of the public’.
Writing on his Open Secrets blog, Rosenbaum comments: “Of course we humble hacks do sometimes get privileged access to information, for which doubtless we are very grateful. But FOI isn’t meant to work like that. So the Met state this is being done ‘outside of FOI legislation’.
“Now on current trends it may not be long before the entire population consists of citizen journalists, at which point these occupational distinctions will no longer matter. But meanwhile please don’t look unless you should – my professional advantages are at stake.”