Birmingham & Black Country

BBC Trust criticises Inside Out documentary

A BBC Inside Out programme omitted information surrounding an anti-terrorist operation, the BBC Trust has found.

The trust was looking into a complaint over an episode broadcast in the West Midlands on 7 December, 2009.

It featured Operation Gamble, carried out in Birmingham in January 2007, and saw nine people arrested.

Information about the raids' result was not mentioned, but the piece as a whole was not biased, the trust said.

The BBC said it had "noted the findings".

Accuracy guidelines

The programme did not mention that the raids were carried out in response to a conspiracy by Islamic extremists to kidnap and behead a Muslim British soldier.

Three of the nine men were later released without charge.

Resulting trials, which saw one man sentenced to life imprisonment and another four men convicted on different charges, were not reported in the programme.

A complainant raised the point that the show was biased against the police.

The trust concluded that the information about the faith of the intended kidnap victim was relevant and its omission "altered the facts presented by the programme".

Failure to include this information led to a breach of the BBC's accuracy guidelines, the committee said.

It also said the omission of information regarding the outcome of the operation was "significant" and that impartiality had not been achieved.

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