Press Gazette launches petition urging Met Police to cancel harassment warning letter issued to reporter

Press Gazette has launched a petition urging Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to cancel a Police Information Notice harassment warning given to Croydon Advertiser reporter Gareth Davies.

Some 15 months after the letter was issued, Davies appears to have exhausted his appeal options. Croydon Police rejected his complaint about the PIN, saying his actions went beyond what was reasonable.

At the time the harassment complaint was made against Davies he had contacted convicted con-woman Neelam Desai once by email once in person in order to offer her right of reply.

Yesterday the Independent Police Complaints Commission rejected a further complaint from Davies.

Here is the wording of the petition, which you can sign on the website by clicking here:

On 31 March 2014 three Metropolitan Police officers issued Croydon Advertiser reporter Gareth Davies with a Police Information Notice prevention of harassment letter.

This PIN was prompted by him sending one email and making one doorstep visit to convicted criminal Neelam Desai.

Davies was following up on complaints from readers that Desai had conned them out of tens of thousands of pounds.

He was warned that if he contacted her again he could be arrested.

We urge you to cancel/rescind the PIN against Davies for the following reasons:

  1. He did nothing to warrant it being issued. As a responsible journalist he had a duty to follow up on concerns raised by readers and put the allegations to Desai in order to give her right of reply.
  2. The PIN will show up on an enhanced criminal records check, so tarnishes Davies' character
  3. This PIN sets a dangerous precedent and means that other journalists could be deterred from carrying out public interest investigations.

Sign our petition here.

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