The BBC’s Scotland editor Sarah Smith has come under fire after yet another broadcast relating to Scottish politics contained false information.
In an item broadcast on the BBC’s flagship News at Six programme on February 7th, Smith told viewers that an incident involving the tragic deaths of two people in a car crash on Scotland’s M9 followed delays in answering an emergency 999 call.
In her report, the BBC reporter highlighted issues with Police Scotland and added: “delayed responses to 999 calls, including one in which a couple lay undiscovered in a crashed car for three days near the M9.”
The ‘999’ claim, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland earlier that same day, prompted an angry response on social media with many people pointing out that there was no such emergency call made in relation to the M9 tragedy. Some demanded an apology from the BBC’s Scotland editor.
A call had indeed been made to the police three days before officers discovered the car on the M9. But it wasn’t an emergency 999 call. A 101 call by a passer-by had reported that a car had left the road. The non-emergency call was fielded by an officer who had omitted to record it in the police system.
Sarah Smith is not the only BBC Scotland reporter to have made the same false emergency call claim in relation to the M9 tragedy. The clip below contains examples of other similar broadcasts.
Smith’s erroneous ‘999’ claim follows a similar episode less than a month ago when the same BBC reporter was forced to issue an apology after she claimed 100,000 people had waited longer than four hours at Scottish A&E departments. The actual figure was 5686.
Despite making the A&E blunder on the BBC’s national UK news which is watched by millions, the corporation refused to issue a correction on the same programme. Smith tweeted an apology on her twitter account which has just under 16,000 followers.
Questions are sure to be asked as to why an experienced BBC reporter could have made not one, but two such blatant blunders when reporting on significant Scottish stories inside a month.
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