Standards / Complaints
Complaint decisions
570/2023 – A Complainant and The Stray Ferret
Publication: The Stray Ferret
Date of complaint: February 17, 2023
Date of adjudication: May 2, 2023
Date complaint accepted: February 23, 2023
Relevant clauses: Children 3.2 and Justice 6.2 of the Impress Standards Code (2020 version)
Outcome:Complaint upheld. Breach of Clauses 3.2 and 6.2. Publisher to remove a video and publish a short clarifying statement.

Summary of complaint

1.1. The Complainant is a lawyer (“the Complainant”) seeking either the removal of a video featured in a published article or the article in full, alleging a breach of Impress Standards Code Clauses 3 (Children) and 6 (Justice). The Complainant legally represents one of the subjects of the article, a young person involved in an incident occurring at a (…) in Harrogate on (…). The Complainant has confirmed to Impress that he is acting as an agent on behalf of the affected party and has been instructed by the young person’s parent to submit a complaint to Impress.

1.2. The Respondent is The Stray Ferret (“the Publisher”), a news website covering topics such as politics, business, health, and crime, which has been regulated by Impress since 17 March 2020.

1.3. The complaint concerns an article that first appeared in The Stray Ferret on 9 February 2023 with the headline Shocking video shows teenagers attacking police in Harrogate (…). A link to the article is also featured in a post published on the Publisher’s Facebook page on 10 February 2023.

1.4. The complaint is assessed against the 2020 version of the Impress Standards Code, which was the current version at the time the article appeared. The relevant clauses are:

Clause 3.2 – Except where there is an exceptional public interest, publishers must not identify a child under the age of 16 years without the consent of the child or a responsible adult unless this is relevant to the story and not detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of the child.

Clause 6.2 – Publishers must not directly or indirectly identify persons under the age of 18 who are or have been involved in criminal or family proceedings, except as permitted by law.