Police Revoke Harassment Warning Given to Croydon Advertiser Reporter Gareth Davies
The Metropolitan Police has revoked a harassment warning given to a Croydon Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies who was issued with a Police Information Notice in March 2014 after investigating allegations of fraud against a local woman.
The Met said Mr Davies’ attempts to question the woman – calling at her house once and sending her a politely-worded email – “went beyond what was reasonable” and the Independent Police Complaints Commission later upheld that decision, the Croydon Advertiser reported.
In a letter to the IPCC, the News Media Association raised grave concerns about the PINs being imposed upon journalists for doing nothing more than complying with their ethical and legal responsibility of seeking a right of reply to, or comment on, a story.
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We are pleased to confirm we have reached a settlement with the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police on the matter of the PIN which was served on Gareth Davies of the Croydon Advertiser in 2014. The Police have revoked the PIN and Gareth will be provided with written confirmation of this.
“The Police and IPCC will also pay most of the legal costs of the proceedings and will write to the College of Policing to request a review of the guidance on using PINs with journalists.
“We are pleased this matter has been resolved in the right way and that we were able to support Gareth in reaching this point.”
Mr Davies said: “I am pleased the police have agreed to revoke the harassment warning and relieved that this matter has finally been resolved.
“I behaved as journalists across the country do on a daily basis but was issued with a warning by the police, which could have appeared on my criminal record, without officers conducting any form of investigation to establish whether the allegations were true.
“I’m glad that, in agreeing to write to the College of Policing, the Met and the IPCC have acknowledged that the use of PINs in relation to journalists needs to be reviewed. As my case has demonstrated, PINs can be used to impede responsible journalism.
“It’s unfortunate it had to reach this point but this settlement is a step in the right direction.”