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Complainant Name:
Mrs Elizabeth Hill

Clauses Noted: 1, 6, 9

Publication: Sevenoaks Chronicle


Mrs Elizabeth Hill complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article reporting that armed police had been sent to patrol the area surrounding a Kent primary school, on the school's sports day, following threats made against the parent of a pupil. Mrs Hill's son attended the school, and she said that the article was inaccurate, as only a couple of plain-clothed policemen had been sent in order to deal with the incident. She objected particularly to the inclusion of mocked up photograph of an armed policeman on the front page of the newspaper, and said that this had sensationalised the event by exaggerating the extent of police presence, intruding unnecessarily into the children's time at school.


The newspaper said that its understanding had been that armed policemen were present, and that it had only become aware that this was not the case after publication of the article. A letter from the school governors, and a front page clarification, were subsequently published, and the newspaper said that the school was satisfied with this course of action. Although the complainant considered that an apology for distress caused to parents and pupils was also appropriate, she was content to resolve the complaint on the basis of the newspaper's acknowledgment of the concerns raised.

Date Published: 09/09/2010

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