The Daily Star was wrong to claim hundreds of Syrians had been arrested for sexual offences in the UK but corrected the error itself after a complaint was raised with press regulator IPSO.
An article in the newspaper, published on 31 July, included the headline: “Hundreds of Syrians arrested for rape and child abuse in UK”.
It included police statistics that showed 987 people of Syrian heritage were arrested in England and Wales last year for crimes including rape, death threats and child abuse.
However complainant Elizabeth Hubbard said the headline was not supported by the text, with arrests specifically for sexual offences not numbering in the hundreds.
She told the Independent Press Standards Organisation: “There was no evidence in the article that hundreds of Syrians had been arrested for rape and child abuse in the UK.”
The newspaper said it acknowledged the original headline was “misleading” because it “inaccurately stated that hundreds of Syrians had been arrested for sexual offences”.
The Daily Star amended the headline to “Police arrest 900 Syrians in England and Wales for crimes including rape and child abuse” and added a correction to the foot of the article recording the amendment.
It read: “This article was amended on 10 August 2016. The headlined originally said ‘Hundreds of Syrians arrested for rape and child abuse in the UK.’
“In fact whilst hundreds of Syrians have been arrested for criminal offences in England and Wales the majority of the offences that Syrians were arrested for was immigration violations, but there were other serious crimes.
“For example, in London 238 Syrians were arrested including two for rape and seven for sex offences. The original headline was inaccurate and has been changed.”
As the matter was resolved IPSO did not rule on whether there was a breach of the Editor’s Code of Conduct.
- As a result of an error on the part of IPSO this article originally stated that the complaint was made against Express.co.uk