Commissioner Condemns Mis-reporting of so called ‘Terrorism’ Incident20 January, 2016
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has condemned mis-leading media reporting for damaging relationships with the police after a report wrongly claimed a family was interrogated as potential terrorists due to a spelling error in a boy’s homework.
“The reporting of this incident by the BBC has created an unnecessary situation and is damaging community relations and confidence at the very least.
“It pays very little attention to the truth of the issue and the fact that concerns were raised by the school about the boy’s safety and I will be writing to the BBC to ask why it has been reported in this way.
“The facts are that a young person disclosed a worrying issue in his school work – not just that he lived in a “terrorist house” – and this was reported through the appropriate channels and subsequently a visit was undertaken by a neighbourhood police officer and a social worker.
“This was not responded to as a terror incident and the reporter was fully aware of this before she wrote her story.
“In the event there was no further action needed, but if the school and police had not acted then they would have been failing in their duty to respond to concerns.
“The media needs to take more responsibility when sensationalising issues to make stories much bigger than they are and to realise the impact they can have on local communities.
“The level of debate about this story today is not warranted given the facts and misrepresents the role of all the agencies involved.”