He deserves some sort of sanction - preferably a LARGE fine.
And suitable ‘cycle friendly’ re-education…
Unfortunately the PCC Code doesn’t have a ‘taste and decency’ exclusion! The PCC website (www.pcc.org.uk) explains that, in their view, one person’s idea of what is offensive is another person’s idea of legitimate free speech (see their response to q14 of their FAQs section).
What this stance doesn’t address is situations where an article discusses violence in a manner likely to be viewed some by readers as an endorsement of such violence (whether or not such ‘incitement’ is intentional). In our complaint to the PCC, we have specifically asked them to consider whether something needs adding to the PCC Code to address this.
Given the PCC Code as it stands, Carlton is probably right that the ‘harrassment or intimiation’ clause is the probably the nearest thing we have got to a clause which Parris may have breached. However even the wording of this clause seems to be more about preventing journalists from harrassing/intimitading people in the process of obtaining their story, rather than the content of the story itself. Hence remains to be seen whether the PCC will view Parris’s article as a breach of that clause.
Campaigns & Policy Manager, CTC