The paper has won an adjucation from the Press Complaints Commission.

A family had complained after we published photographs online of an accident in Devizes that showed quite graphically a pensioner being treated in her car.

To be fair the pictures should not have been posted and we took them down pretty quickly after it was drawn to my attention.

The family complained so we published an apology in the Gazette as well as carried a letter from them that made it clear they held the paper in the same regard as a graverobber.

In the paper we had also carried a picture of the accident but made sure the victim's face was not shown.

But the family went to the PCC in an attempt to get the paper censured for even showing a picture of the car, which showed the registration number, on the grounds that it identified the victim and members of their family had not known about the crash.

They also objected to us quoting a policeman who had said it was thought the injuries sustained by the victim in the crash were life threatening.

I can understand they were hurt by the pictures but this was an accident that caused major delays around the town at rush hour, and I mean major delays because hundreds of cars were held up in the jam.

Those people had a right to know what had caused the delay and, after all, this was an accident on a public highway.

My point of view was that most people in the victim's family were unlikely to know the registration number and that the make and colour of the car was more likely to identify the victim. But were we supposed to alter the picture to change the colour of the car and obscure the make?

Fortunately the PCC agreed with us and said that, as we had carried an apology and a letter from the family, there was no case against us.

It is a really difficult area though and I will think a lot more carefully about how we report a similar accident in future.


I was disappointed with Wiltshire Police today. They announced at the end of the week the inquiry office at Chippenham Police Station was to open on Friday.

The civilian front desk staff, who had been made redundant and redeployed, were back behind the counter again.

But the police banned us from talking to or photographing the ladies concerned. Is that because they had been highly critical of the police when they were axed I wonder?

It looked as if the police were trying to keep this U-turn as quiet as possible. They only told us late on Thursday that offices would be re-opening the next day when they must have known for weeks it was happening then.

Anyway, I know plenty of people will be delighted to see the ladies back again, not least all those people I see standing about trying to get someone inside the station to answer the phone on the wall.