The Press Complaints Commission has dismissed a complaint from a police officer against a South London weekly.
Metropolitan police officer PC Ian Collis claimed that coverage in the News Shopper about a community order he had been issued with following an attack on a member of the public while off duty put him at risk of harm.
PC Collis, who is currently suspended from duty, was concerned that the newspaper had published his partial address in a court report about the case.
He considered that its publication could pose a risk of serious harm to himself and his family from individuals he had encountered in the course of his work.
He felt that this and other material in the report about his mental health and the distress he had felt after losing his father was in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code.
The Newsquest-owned title had previously declined a request from the police press office to remove his address from its online report and in the print edition.
In dismissing the case the PCC said it did not consider that the whereabouts of the street on which an individual lives is a matter that concerns their private and family life.
In addition the information was already in the public domain because it had been said in open court.
The Commission has ruled that “Newspapers are generally entitled to include details of a person’s address in reports of criminal cases against them, not least because addresses are likely to be given in open court.
“There is also a general public interest in the identification of individuals who have been charged with criminal offences. Correct identification will often involve the publication of at least a partial address.”