New draft Authorised Professional Practice on media relations clearly sets out how police forces should communicate with journalists.
Officers and staff are invited to have their say on new national guidance on the relationship between the police and media.
The College of Policing has produced draft Authorised Professional Practice (APP) that is now out for consultation until 7 July. A key point within the guidance is that police will not name those arrested or under investigation, except in exceptional circumstances where it would serve a policing purpose.
Maintaining a professional working relationship between the police service and the media – whether this is a police appeal for information about a crime or a response to a story critical of the force - is a vital part of policing by consent. Consequently the importance of the free-flow of information between the police and press cannot be overstated.
However, unless relationships between the police and the media are built on integrity and professionalism, they can undermine policing by consent and damage public confidence in the police. In recent times, the way in which the police and press interact has too often created damaging perceptions of police integrity.
The media relations APP both revises and brings into one place the College of Policing's 2013 Guidance on Relationships with the Media and the 2010 guidance produced through ACPO. It takes account of recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press (2012), and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) report 'Without fear or favour', published in 2011.
It is designed to reassure police officers and staff about the correct and most effective ways of working with their own press offices and the media; to ensure the most appropriate person is tasked with communicating about a crime or an issue, and to deliver the most accurate and important information to journalists.
Officers and staff are asked to respond to the consultation, which poses a few clear questions and gives room for detailed responses, online by 7 July.