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NPA submits complaint to Ofcom over 'How to Steal Pigs' programme

30th Jan 2020 / By Lizzie Wilson

NPA has submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding the Channel 4 programme ‘How to Steal Pigs and Influence People’.

Wes 2In the letter, which has been acknowledged by the communications regulator, I stated that NPA found it ‘astonishing that the programme showed Wesley Omar stealing five pigs on separate occasions.

In our opinion Channel 4 could be considered complicit in the theft of those pigs; they accompanied Wesley Omar to film his illegal activity, instead of alerting police.’

The letter says: "Wesley already has a criminal conviction for theft of a pig from a previous incursion which was reported in the programme, so the production company were clearly aware of his record."

"NPA believes that Channel 4 has acted incredibly irresponsibly in this instance and should therefore be held accountable in some way. At the very least, they should furnish the police with information concerning any criminal activity gathered during the course of the programme production.

"We believe the programme itself, and particularly the title and promotion ahead of broadcast, explicitly glamorises illegal activity and, therefore, we would be grateful if Ofcom would consider whether it has breached Rule 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code (material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services or BBC ODPS)."

The letter also highlighted that it is important to remember that many farmers and their staff actually live on farm, with their family, and it is their safety, privacy and mental health and wellbeing that is violated by this sort of ‘direct activism’ and intimidation.

Channel 4 and Ofcom have received a number of complaints since the programme aired on January 14. 

For details about how to complain, click here

For the NPA's verdict on the programme, click here, while members can read Lizzie Wilson's more detailed take in the Members' Area (January 15). 

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