Friday, 4 May 2012

Clarification by Berwickshire News: there are no criminal penalties for smoking in the grounds of Borders General Hospital

At the beginning of March I made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the Berwickshire News, which in an article about the health board encouraging smoking cessation, announced that breaching the smoking ban on the premises of NHS Borders was a criminal offence subject to heavy penalties.

The link to the clarification is here. This contains a link to the amended story.


Xopher said...

" “failure to comply with the policy is a criminal offence”.
The sentence should have stated that “failure to comply with the law is a criminal offence”."

This seems to suggest that their 'policy' is 'the law'.

Mr A said...

Not uncommon. I visited the Open University's campus in Milton Keynes recently and they had signs saying "It is against the law to smoke in this area" (outside) and "It is illegal to smoke next to this doorway" (again outside). Can any action be taken against this sort of thing? It's just bollocks.

Belinda said...

I don't think so, Xopher. Their sentence 'failure to comply with the policy is a criminal offence' is clearly incorrect and they have removed it.

'Failure to comply with the law is a criminal offence': this is so obvious that it doesn't need to be said – and in fact they don't say it in the amended version of their article. They have broken the association between the law and NHS Borders policy that was claimed in the original.

Belinda said...

Mr A: I think it should be possible to demand to know from the university exactly what law is broken by the injunction not to smoke outside.