Resolution Statement – 11836-20 The Metropolitan Police v Daily Mail
Summary of Complaint
1. The Metropolitan Police complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mail breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Athlete in racism row lays blame at Met chief 's door”, published on 7 July 2020.
2. The article reported on the detention of a British athlete. The subheadline said that the athlete had been subjected to an “arrest”.
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1, as there had been no arrest.
4. The publication did not accept a breach of Clause 1, and said that there was no material difference between being arrested and being detained under the PACE Act.
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.
iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. The publication offered to print the following correction:
"A headline on July 7 about [named athlete] being handcuffed by police referred to the incident as an ‘arrest’. In fact, she was not arrested, but detained under stop and search legislation."
8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter 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: 10/07/2020
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 14/07/2020
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