HAVING spent almost half a century as a journalist on national and local newspapers, I have noticed a trend recently for employers and staff whose business premises have been targeted and attacked by vicious criminals to refuse to comment when approached by the Echo.

The most recent incident was a report of an attack by a man armed with a meat cleaver on a bookmakers’ office at West Moors on Wednesday evening.

Do these people running businesses that have been attacked not realise that by refusing to speak to the local press they may well be hampering the police in their efforts to find the criminals responsible?

In an erroneous desire for privacy, by attempting to prevent the publication of such incidents they may inhibit potential witnesses from coming forward who may have valuable information to give.

This anti-press reaction may be partly a side effect of the Leveson Inquiry, which was in my view principally aimed at preventing tabloid intrusion into the lives of politicians and celebrities.

I cannot believe it was ever intended to prevent local newspapers from reporting serious crimes in their area or ordinary people from commenting on them.

I commend the Echo for its continuing public diligence in reporting such shocking incidents. It is to the discredit of business owners if they choose not to co-operate.


Marina Drive, Lilliput