Here is exactly why we are not reporting the whereabouts of asylum seekers in Rugby
We owe you an explanation - so here it is
We know many of you have been wondering why we have not been reporting the location of asylum seekers or refugees in the town, and we are aware that silence usually makes it seem like something fishy is going on.
A few readers have been in touch to ask if the Government has somehow forced us to be silent. We can assure you the answer to that is 'no'.
Some believe that we should never report on the location of refugees and asylum seekers at all, while others believe that people have a right to know.
Sometimes, being a journalist is very difficult. You, the reader, are trusting us to do the right thing by you. And often that means that the needs and rights of different groups have to be balanced.
The key question with anything is, 'is this in the public interest?' And, 'if publishing this might do harm, is it a matter important enough to risk harm to make people aware of it?'
In the instance of the arrival of asylum seekers to our town, this presents itself as balancing the importance of an informed public with the safety of potentially extremely vulnerable people.
The Home Office and any local authorities will never confirm the location of asylum seekers or refugees in any area - we know this because they told us.
But the Advertiser has ways, and we know exactly what the situation is and where people are.
Again, some of you reading this will wince at the idea of us ever reporting that, while others will now be wondering why on earth we are not telling people.
For both sides of the debate - here is an explanation.
Decisions like this are taken on a case-by-case basis. It is hard to speak hypothetically on this, but I think it is fair to say that there are some circumstances in which we would report a location.
This would not be done without ensuring we had all the facts and had carefully balanced why the pros and cons were.
Recently, we became aware of a group of asylum seekers set to be accommodated in our borough.
As we always do, we went on a fact-finding mission and quickly pieced the finer details together.
Then, as normal, the discussion as what to do was had.
This could have gone either way - but in the course of that discussion, we discovered that racist threats had been made against asylum seekers in our town.
These threats were made in the last few days, and they were credible and serious enough to spark a police investigation.
Upon hearing about this we contacted Warwickshire Police and this morning, while understandably not going into great detail, they said: "We are carrying a malicious communications investigation following alleged racist comments made online."
So here was a decision to make: given we know that potentially vulnerable people are at risk, can we justify publishing their location on the basis that many people would like to know what is happening in their community?
For us, the answer was a resounding 'no'.