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Complainant Name:
Mrs Lucy Hedden

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Wimbledon Guardian


Mrs Lucy Hedden of Mitcham complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article which reported that community service workers had been used as manual labourers to help repair a private driveway. The complainant expressed concern about comments from a Probation Service spokesman, in which it was stated that ‘Glebe Court Residents' Association had commissioned the work' as well as ‘accepting that the work did not fully meet all the criteria for a community payback project'. The complainant denied that her association had ‘commissioned' or ‘applied for' the work. Furthermore, she stated her understanding was that the repairs had in fact been carried out as an ‘Income Generation project' (under which work to benefit private individuals is permitted).


The matter was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following correction:

Our article It's criminal (July 14) reported that Mr Simon Hedden and the Probation Service had been criticised ‘after criminals on community service were used as manual labourers to help repair a private driveway'. The report included comment from the Probation Service, in which it ‘accepted that it had made a mistake as [the work] did not fully meet the criteria for the community payback project'. An internal investigation by the London Probation Trust has found that the work should have been carried out under the Income Generation scheme, whereby private property work is permitted (the cost being borne by individual). The investigation also found that - contrary to our original report - the work was not ‘commissioned' or ‘applied for' by Glebe Residents Association, nor by Mrs Lucy Hedden who is a member of the association, but by Mr Hedden himself. The Probation Service has apologised to Mrs Hedden for failing to properly explain the remit of the two schemes to the residents association. We are happy to make this clear and apologise for any confusion caused.

Date Published: 12/01/2012

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