Insights Ofcom publishes changes to rules and guidance in Section Three of Broadcasting Code.

Ofcom has a duty to review and revise the rules in the Broadcasting Code from time to time when appropriate.

Section Three of the Code relates to crime.  It prohibits the broadcast of material likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime, or to lead to disorder.  It also helps to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in services of harmful or offensive material.

Ofcom has updated the title of the Section from “Crime” to “Crime, Disorder, Hatred and Abuse” and introduced two additional rules to address content containing hate speech and abusive or derogatory treatment.  Ofcom has also included notes and meanings to help explain the rules in this section of the Code and provide additional information for broadcasters on how they are applied.

The changes and clarifications Ofcom has made are to ensure the rules are as clear as possible for broadcasters and to ensure that broadcasters understand how the Code’s requirements are applied.

The new rules come into effect on 9 May 2016.  To read Ofcom’s statement in full, click here.