The Daily Mirror's highly respected former political and industrial correspondent Geoffrey Goodman has said there was a time when reporters on the Fleet Street tabloids acted like burglars.
Asked about the phone hacking furore, Goodman tells the Camden New Journal/Islington Tribune this week: "Violating the law to invade privacy is simply unacceptable, but in the old days we had reporters behaving like burglars, which was the same but without technology.
"The tabloids had 'picture snatchers' on their staff, and they would go into homes and steal. Phone tapping is a form of burglary. You are stealing material you would otherwise not be able to obtain."
Goodman, who has spent more than 60 years in journalism and was a member of the Royal Commission on the press, says: "The media have got to recognise that unless they are prepared to accept voluntary restraint then it is inevitable governments will introduce legislation to protect privacy."
The interview, by Dan Carrier, comes as Goodman's book: 'From Bevan to Blair: 50 years reporting in the political front line' is published in paperback. Revel Barker £9.99.
Pic: Camden New Journal