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Complainant Name:
Chrissi Lee

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Colchester Gazette


Chrissi Lee complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published an article which stated that members of the Travelling community were responsible for dumping waste at a site in Essex when, in fact, it was not possible to prove this was the case.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter in response to the article:

Dear Sir,

Your article "We'll prosecute Travellers who dumped waste at site" (3 May) was, in my view, both disappointing and misleading. While Travellers had been at the site at Severalls Lane, Colchester, there was nothing to suggest they were responsible for dumping rubbish. Indeed, one of the dumped items - a sofa - is unlikely to be the property of Gypsies as their trailer homes tend to have fitted furniture. Even Paul Smith of Colchester Council said it would be difficult to prove who was responsible. It is a shame your newspaper was so quick to place the blame on members of the Travelling community. It is articles like this that reinforce the negative stereotyping that occurs all too often about the Travelling community, thus supporting misconceptions often held.

Chrissi Lee
Kent (full address withheld on request)

Date Published: 20/06/2011

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