I just watched the BBC 10 O’Clock news. The lead story was the conviction of Levi Bellfield for the murder of Millie Dowler. The reporter was asked why Bellfield had proved so hard to catch and enthusiastically explained that Bellfield was what the police call ‘forensically aware’ and that he took several steps to make himself harder to be found. That’s a fair point to share and of interest to the news audience. And that is where a responsible broadcaster would have stopped. But this reporter didn’t stop.
He was keen to show he had been listening in court and so went on to list a couple of very specific things that Bellfield did while he was killing in order to leave no forensic trail. Wannabe serial killers the nation over will have enthusiastically been taking notes. Hard working police detectives the nation over will have been hitting their heads on their desks.
Responsible news coverage from our flagship broadcaster? Or titillating, smug showing-off that puts us all a little more at risk?