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Complainant Name:
Mr Ray Austin

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Metro


Mr Ray Austin complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article had misrepresented a report carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. He was particularly concerned by the incorrect statement that PCSOs do not work past 8pm, and the implication that police officers worked shorter hours than "ordinary" workers.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the amendment of the online article to read that PCSOs "do not typically work past 8pm" and the publication of the following letter in the newspaper:

Metro quoted from a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary on July 20 and said ‘some police off work for 17 weeks per year' as if this were the full picture.

However the HMIC report included the words ‘most forces surveyed used 8-10 hour variable shift patterns - one used 12 hours widely'. It did not compare ‘ordinary' workers, who work eight-hour shifts, to police, many of whom have shift rosters with much longer hours, because that would be like comparing chalk and cheese.

Your article also said ‘PCSOs do not work past 8pm'. However, many do work late and some do night duty.

The Metro should apologise for twisting a factual objective report into a headline grabbing swipe at hard working officers and PCSOs.

Date Published: 23/11/2010

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