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Complainant Name:
Steven Price

Clauses Noted: 3, 5

Publication: Liverpool Echo

Complaint:

Steven Price complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had reported the death of his cousin before the family had been officially notified by the police. The complainant believed this represented a breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) and Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

Resolution:

Prior to receiving the complaint via the PCC, the newspaper had apologised for its actions in print in the following terms:

"On Thursday, we tweeted that a body had been found in Albert Dock. That followed confirmation from the emergency services and was some time after we were aware of the fact. In hindsight, the Echo team should have checked with police that the family had been informed. In relation to statements that the police had asked us to withhold this information, we have spoken with the police and the reporting staff concerned. It is not apparent that a number of conversations took place between an Echo reporter and the police in a short period of time, and it appears there was a degree of confusion. It is Echo policy always to comply with police requests to withhold information when distress could be caused to families. We fully accept that it was our responsibility to ensure clarity. We would like to convey our sincere condolences to everyone who knew and loved James for their terrible loss. We unreservedly apologise for any distress caused."

A similar wording was published on the newspaper's Facebook page. This, combined with a private letter sent by editor, represented a resolution to the complainant's concerns.

Date Published: 24/01/2014



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