Soham anniversary coverage praised

The press has been praised by Cambridgeshire Police for showing restraint in the reporting of the anniversary of the disappearance of Soham schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.

Cambridgeshire Police used an offtherecord briefing to ask the media to stay away from Soham last weekend.

Police have also expressed concern that media coverage could prejudice the trial of Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr, who are due to appear jointly at the Old Bailey on 6 October.

The pair’s lawyers are expected to argue that the trial should be abandoned because adverse media coverage has made it impossible for them to have a fair hearing.

Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Stevenson told Press Gazette that he thought coverage of the anniversary showed “restraint and compassion for the families”.

The Observer reported on Sunday that journalists failing to “play by the rules” have been threatened with having police support withdrawn.

When this was put to Stevenson by Press Gazette, he said: “We have worked closely with the media throughout this investigation, but as everyone can appreciate, our concerns are for the integrity of the investigation and the needs and welfare of the families.

“Our approach to the media is constantly being reviewed and that will continue in the run-up to the trial.”

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