BBC Northampton defends report after former police and crime commissioner accuses broadcaster of ‘illegally obtaining data’

Adam Simmonds at conference to celebrate first year of new Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) NNL-150403-161620001

Adam Simmonds at conference to celebrate first year of new Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) NNL-150403-161620001

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BBC Northampton has defended its story on an IPCC investigation into former Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds after he accused the organisation of “illegally obtaining data”.

A story was published on BBC website on April 28 revealing details about an ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry into an allegation of misconduct against Mr Simmonds.

When it launched the investigation, the IPCC said it was investigating claims Mr Simmonds had breached the Data Protection Act by disclosing information relating to a criminal investigation to third parties, and committed an offence of misconduct in public office.

During an interview on the BBC Radio Northampton breakfast show on Wednesday, Mr Simmonds was asked about the investigation and he said the BBC had breached his data protection in their reporting.

Mr Simmonds said: “I won’t be commenting on the investigation due to legal reasons but what I will say is the BBC’s illegal obtaining of my own personal data has been passed to the appropriate authorities.”

Helen Grimes, editor of BBC Radio Northampton, has defended the BBC’s reporting of the investigation.

She said: “The police and crime commissioner is a public figure and this story is a matter of public interest. We stand by our journalism. The story was investigated thoroughly.”

A spokesman for the IPCC said last month it had completed its investigation into Mr Simmonds and passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The spokesman said: “The CPS has now given its decision which has been communicated to Mr Simmonds and we await his response.”

Mr Simmonds left office as Police and Crime Commissioner yesterday (Wednesday).