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Complainant Name:
Mr Paul Brewster

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Independent


Mr Paul Brewster complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the article, a comment piece by one of the newspaper's regular columnists, had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The complainant said that the columnist was incorrect when she had asserted that it took seventeen years for a police officer to reach the ranks of inspector, and when she had claimed that a Metropolitan Police survey had found 75% of the force to have been overweight. The complainant said the columnist's claim that the police force was ‘predominantly white, male' and ‘ill-educated' was offensive, and did not correlate with his experience.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification:

In an article of 18 March we referred to a health and fitness survey conducted by the Met Police and said it found 75% of the force to be overweight. In fact, it found that of those who took part (around a fifth of all officers and staff) 75% of the males surveyed were overweigh.

Date Published: 17/05/2012

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