Resolution statement – Complaint 07565-16 Hubbard v Daily Star

    • Date complaint received

      29th September 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement Complaint 07565-16 Hubbard v Daily Star

Summary of complaint 

1.    Elizabeth Hubbard complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Star breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Hundreds of Syrians arrested for rape and child abuse in UK”, published on 31 July 2016. 

2.    The article reported on police statistics which showed that 897 people of Syrian heritage were arrested in England and Wales last year for crimes including rape, death threats and child abuse. It said that the figures had been taken from an investigation undertaken by another newspaper, and highlighted the number of Syrians arrested for sexual offences in London and Nottingham. 

3. The complainant said that the article’s headline was not supported by the text, as there was no evidence in the article that hundreds of Syrians had been arrested for rape and child abuse in the UK. 

4. The publication said that the original headline was misleading because it inaccurately stated that hundreds of Syrians had been arrested for sexual offences. It said that it had amended the headline, and added a correction to the foot of the article recording the amendment. 

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. 

Mediated outcome 

6.    The complaint was not resolved through correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter. 

7.    The publication re-iterated that it had amended the headline on the article to read “Hundreds of Syrians arrested in the UK for offences including rape and child abuse”. It also published the following correction as a footnote to the online article: 

This article was amended on 10 August 2016. The headlined originally said 'Hundreds of Syrians arrested for rape and child abuse in the UK.' In fact whilst hundreds of Syrians have been arrested for criminal offences in England and Wales the majority of the offences that Syrians were arrested for was immigration violations, but there were other serious crimes. For example, in London 238 Syrians were arrested including two for rape and seven for sex offences. The original headline was inaccurate and has been changed. 

8.    The complainant said these actions resolved the matter to her 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: 31/07/2016

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 08/09/2016