Guidelines

Section 8: Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

Mandatory Referrals

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  1. Referrals to Director Editorial Policy and Standards
  2. Referrals to Editorial Policy
  3. Other Referrals
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(Mandatory Referrals are part of the BBC's editorial management system.  While they will not, in themselves, meet the Principles in the Editorial Guidelines, they are an essential part of the process to ensure compliance and must be observed.)

 

Referrals to Director Editorial Policy and Standards

8.3.1

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime, or lead to disorder, must not be included in our services.  However, this is not intended to restrict the broadcasting of any content where a clear public interest can be demonstrated.  Where there is a clear public interest in the broadcast of content, approval must be obtained from Director Editorial Policy and Standards at the earliest opportunity.

(See 8.4.1)

 

8.3.2

Witnessing serious criminal activity, or recording a specific crime when that might raise questions about our relationship with the criminal, must be referred in advance to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.  Referral must also be made to Director Editorial Policy and Standards and Programme Legal Advice.

(See 8.4.3)

 

8.3.3.

Any proposal to interview a criminal active in, or wanted in, the UK must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.15)

 

8.3.4

Any proposal to contact or interview escaped prisoners or people wanted by the police must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards and Programme Legal Advice.

(See 8.4.18)

 

8.3.5

Payment or payment in kind to criminals, former criminals, their families or their associates (directly or indirectly) for interviews or other contributions relating to their crimes, must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.20)

 

8.3.6

Payment or payment in kind to people who may not have committed a crime but whose behaviour is clearly anti-social for interviews or other contributions about their behaviour, or people whose activities have attracted such notoriety that any payment might be inappropriate, must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.21)

 

8.3.7

Any proposal to enter a UK prison without permission must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.22)

 

8.3.8

Any proposal to name a convicted paedophile or other sex offender, when their name has not been made publicly available by the police, or to broadcast pictures of them, must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.27)

 

8.3.9

Any proposal to grant anonymity to someone seeking to evade UK law must be referred in advance to Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.31)

 

8.3.10

Any proposal to pay a witness or potential witness in a trial must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards and Programme Legal Advice.

(See 8.4.37)

 

8.3.11

Director Editorial Policy and Standards must approve any proposal to employ someone known to have a criminal record or background of illegal activity to work on a BBC investigation.  This includes editorial members of the production team and undercover operatives.

(See 8.4.43)

 

8.3.12

Director Editorial Policy and Standards must approve job applications by undercover operatives working on BBC investigations.

(See 8.4.44)

 

Referrals to Editorial Policy

8.3.13

Any proposal to interview witnesses about their evidence once court proceedings are under way must be referred to Programme Legal Advice and Editorial Policy.

(See 8.4.34)

 

8.3.14

Any proposal to send someone to work as an undercover operative on an investigation into crime or serious anti-social behaviour must be referred to Editorial Policy.

(See 8.4.41)

 

Other Referrals

8.3.15

Any proposal to record the illegal harming of animals by third parties must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.

(See 8.4.5)

 

 

8.3.16

Any incident of suspected "grooming" online must be referred promptly to the CBBC Interactive Executive Management Team (or, for Commercial Services, to the relevant editorial leader) who will be responsible for reporting it to the appropriate authorities.

(See 8.4.7)

 

 

8.3.17

Any proposal to enter an overseas prison without permission must be referred to a senior editorial figure, or for independents to the commissioning editor, who may consult Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.23)

 

 

8.3.18

Inviting a prisoner to initiate a call for broadcast, broadcasting an unsolicited call from a prisoner that has not already been referred, or broadcasting a live call from a prisoner, must be referred to a senior editorial figure, or for independents to the commissioning editor, who may consult Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

(See 8.4.24)

 

8.3.19

Programme Legal Advice must be consulted before broadcasting material relating to the identity of anyone under 18 involved as a potential defendant once court proceedings have commenced.

(See 8.4.32)

 

8.3.20

Any proposal to undertake an investigation into crime or serious anti-social behaviour must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents to the commissioning editor.  It may also be necessary to consult Editorial Policy and Programme Legal Advice.

(See 8.4.40)

 

8.3.21

BBC Safety's High Risk Team must be consulted, in good time, before undertaking criminal investigations involving covert surveillance or recording and/or confrontation of terrorists, serious criminal or extremist or violent political groups.

(See 8.4.45)

 

 

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