The Bristol Post’s editor has said the paper will not publish photographs of people wanted in connection with the toppling of slaver Edward Colston’s statue earlier this month, which made national news.
Avon and Somerset Police have released pictures of 15 people as part an investigation into criminal damage to the statue, which was pulled from its plinth and dumped into Bristol harbour on Sunday 7 June.
The incident took place during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city.
Post editor Mike Norton said the paper’s own poll of more than 10,500 people, which ran shortly after the incident, found that a majority (57%) did not believe those who pulled down the statue should face charges.
In an opinion piece published online today, Norton wrote: “We think the majority of Bristolians accept that the years of frustration and offence at the statue’s existence mitigate what happened two weeks ago.
“That is why the Bristol Post or Bristol Live will not be publishing the police photographs.”
Norton said the Post was not criticising the police, but said the paper believed the council had “made the wrong decision” in making a formal complaint about criminal damage to the statue.
But, while the Post and its associated website Bristol Live have not published the pictures of those sought by police, its sister title the Western Daily Press has, along with its associated website Somerset Live.
Both the Post and the Daily Press are published by Reach under its Reach West division, which has Norton as its editor-in-chief.
A spokesperson for Reach said: “The Bristol Post/Bristol Live and Western Daily Press are separate publications.
“Mike Norton is editor-in-chief of all these titles, with day-to-day editorial decisions for the Western Daily Press taken by Richard Bache.”
Picture: Avon & Somerset Police