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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Press intrusion complaints rise
Photographers at Kate Middleton's house
The PCC deals with complaints about press intrusion
Complaints about privacy and intrusion made to the press watchdog rose the last year, it has emerged.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) received 231 privacy-related complaints last year - a slight increase on 2005. It said 96 were settled amicably.

However, the PCC said in its annual report that overall complaints about UK newspapers and magazines were down.

Commission chairman Sir Christopher Meyer said: "The single biggest source of complaints is about accuracy."

The watchdog said it successfully resolved a record number of complaints - up 20% from the previous year.

'Privacy issues'

Sir Christopher said: "Far from seeing a diminution in work on privacy we have seen an increase in the number of privacy issues."

The Commission, which is a self-regulatory body funded by the newspaper and magazine industry, was available to deal with privacy issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.

Sir Christopher added that its procedures and previous adjudications meant guidance was available to editors on the principles to apply when deciding whether or not to publish stories.

The Commission made a number of important new privacy rulings in 2006
PCC report

The PCC published a total of 19 adjudications concerning privacy in some way.

The complaints were upheld in five of these cases.

The majority of privacy cases - 46% - related to regional and local press, which the report said was not surprising due to the size of that sector.

And 38.4% of the complaints involved the national press, 8.9% related to the Scottish press, 5.4% involved magazines and 1.3% came from Northern Ireland.

"To that end, the Commission made a number of important new privacy rulings in 2006, relating to children, photographs of people at work, intrusion into grief, confidential sources and privacy and pregnancy, among others," the report said.

Offering assistance

Sir Christopher said the PCC also did a great deal to protect people from harassment when they became involved in major stories.

By way of example, he said it offered Suffolk police assistance in the case of the Ipswich murders.

The total number of complaints about UK newspapers and magazines and their websites fell slightly to 3,325.

The document added that 418 complaints - 78% of the number which represented a possible breach of the Code of Practice - were resolved last year, a rise of 20% over the figure for 2005 and the highest total in the PCC's history.

And in a further 20% of such cases, the PCC judged that offers not accepted by the complainant were proportionate and suitable.

And just 2% of possible breaches were not met with a sufficient offer from the editor. These complaints were all upheld.


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