Sunday, 29 May 2016
Being arrested does not mean you're guilty
A few years ago a lot of journalists were arrested on suspicion of criminally paying contacts for stories.
They did pay for the stories and never denied it.
The contacts should not have sold the stories and many went to jail for doing so.
All but one of the journalists was cleared when their cases came to trial and the one man who was convicted is appealing.
The Sun, some of whose staff were embroiled in what was known as Operation Elveden, was very angry about the whole business.
A few decades ago we used to have something called the "sus" law, which allowed police to stop and search people they thought might be up to no good, even when there was no apparent reason to do so.
Young black men were the main victims of this over-used policing privilege. Some said that they regarded it as routine to be searched on trips to the shops or the cinema. It was part of life.
Eventually newspapers got quite cross about it and eventually the law was abolished.
Why the history lesson?
Because sometimes we can be presented with true facts and jump to the wrong conclusion.
So today seems a good day to remind ourselves - and the Sun in particular - that it is perfectly possible for a lot of people to be arrested and for most of them to be innocent of any crime.