Summary of complaint
1. Tristan Bacon complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Times breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) in an article headlined “Drunken British tourists scare off Ibiza’s policemen”, published on 28 January 2017.
2. The article reported on the concerns of policemen who work in Ibiza. It reported that “the island is facing a shortage of officers, who are being put off not by riotous tourists, by by the soaring costs of living”.
3. The complainant expressed concern that the article’s headline had inaccurately reported that Spanish policemen had been put off working in Ibiza because of the actions of drunk British tourists, when the body of the article made clear that it was rising house prices which were the cause of the police’s reluctance to work there.
4. The newspaper said that the article under complaint was a revised version of an earlier article which reported on the police’s concerns over rising house prices. It said that the article’s headline had been changed so as to make the focus of the article more relevant to a British readership. It noted that the press as a whole had widely and accurately reported over many years that the Ibiza police had struggled to cope with badly behaved tourists from Britain.
Relevant Code provisions
5. Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. During IPSO’s investigation of the complaint, the newspaper offered to remove the later version of the article and publish the following correction:
We said that drunken British holidaymakers were deterring Spanish police officers from applying for jobs on Ibiza (News, January 28). In fact, as an earlier report on the same subject made clear, the officers' stated concern was the high cost of living on the island, not the presence of badly behaved tourists.
8. The complainant said this would resolve his complaint to his satisfaction.
9. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
Date complaint received: 30/01/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 17/03/2017
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