Over one million people have signed petitions for Caroline's Law - but what would the change mean? 2 years ago

Over one million people have signed petitions for Caroline's Law - but what would the change mean?

"What price is a life?"

Over one million people have signed petitions to introduce new laws for press in the UK following the death of Caroline Flack.


The Love Island presenter passed away in her home last week, leading to an influx of pleas for kindness on social media, and changes to how all members of the public interact with celebrities.

At the time of writing, almost 800,000 people have signed one petition by a man named Dennis Patton asking for the UK's law to be changed to better protect those in the public eye - and those outside it.

Over 500,000 people have also added their name to another similar petition, set up by actor and reality star Stephanie Davis, who is calling for penalties for the invasion of privacy and stricter laws surrounding the publishing of false information.

But what exactly would change with the introduction of Caroline's Law, and how would it affect those most susceptible to media scrutiny?


Davis, who has experienced her own issues with the UK press in the past, has called for a change in UK law that would prevent newspapers, magazines, and paparazzi from publishing information that they have no proof of, printing quotes from unreliable sources, and invading the privacy of people in the public eye to the point where it is detrimental to their mental health.

In a video shared alongside her petition, she spoke candidly of the hurt she feels following Caroline's passing

She later added that she wanted to see stricter legalities around trespassing, and around the paparazzi taking and selling images without permission.


"Do you know that hopeless feeling when you don't even know what to do anymore?" she said.

"Caroline was a good person. She wasn't a bad person. She had struggles which we all fucking do. We're human.

"Anyone watching this, tell me you've never made a show of yourself, tell me you've never woken up and thought 'What have I done?' Tell me you've never made a mistake."


Following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, changes were enacted in both the UK and the US restricting the access that paparazzi have.

In California, it is illegal for paparazzi to trespass on private property, to follow people in cars, or to use the telephoto lenses while photographing private property.

However, it was the UK that saw the most notable change in attitudes towards the press following Diana's death - and not just in legal terms.

After her passing, both The Sun and The Mirror recorded their lowest sales figures in over 30 years.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) updated their code of practice deeming it unacceptable to use a long-lens "to take pictures of people in private places without their consent" while also introducing measures to further protect the privacy of children in the public eye.


The press scrutiny was at such an intense level that the Daily Mail promised to ban the use of paparazzi photos in their publication - a pledge that has not been upheld.

However, despite the enactment of these amendments and laws following such a tragic incident, the prevalence of press invasiveness and the paparazzi continues - both in the UK and elsewhere.

Patton's petition argues that without a concrete law in place in the UK, instances such as Caroline's death are liable to happen again.

"We'll never truly know all of the things that were going on in Caroline's mind when she took the decision to take her life," he wrote.

"What price is a life? This isn't the first time this has happened, and I'm concerned that without a new law, it won't be the last."

You can check out both petitions here and here.