The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

  • MR IAN NEIL FEGAN (affirmed). MR MIKE CUNNINGHAM (sworn).

  • Please sit down. I'm going to invite you to give us your full names and attest to the contents of your witness statement. First of all, Mr Cunningham.

  • Yes, I'm Michael Cunningham.

  • Your witness statement is dated 13 February of this year. I'm sure you've signed and dated it, it doesn't matter in particular. Are you content to put this forward as your formal evidence to the Inquiry, Mr Cunningham?

  • And you, Mr Fegan, your full name please?

  • Thank you. Your statement likewise dated 28 February, is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?

  • I'm going to deal with your careers and current positions first of all. First of all you, Mr Cunningham. You are currently the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police and have been since September 2009. You joined the Lancashire Constabulary in 1987. You worked your way up the ranks there. Indeed, I think that's the only force you have served in before Staffordshire.

  • You were Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire in August 2007 and aside from your responsibilities as Chief Constable you are the ACPO lead in professional standards and you assumed that portfolio last summer?

  • So that we understand it, we've heard reference to 14 business groups within ACPO. The professional standards portfolio is not a business group in its own right, it is within the workforce development business group?

  • Good time to get that particular brief.

  • We'll cover the detail of that in a moment, after I've introduced Mr Fegan.

    You are a graduate of the University of Wales, postgraduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. You've worked for Staffordshire for 13 years and since January 2010 you are Head of Corporate Communication?

  • The number of people you are responsible for, your department, is staffed by 19 full time equivalent posts?

  • We're going to deal first of all, Mr Cunningham, with your ACPO responsibilities and then Staffordshire. In terms of ACPO, the second page of your statement, 02372, the remit of the portfolio, there are six components of it. Does it break down into three separate groups, as it were: complaints and misconduct, counter corruption and vetting?

  • That's correct. In (iii) on page 2, that sets out the three areas which report in to me under the professional standards umbrella.

  • Thank you. We're not concerned, obviously, with vetting. It's possibly the first two, complaints and misconduct and counter corruption, with the emphasis perhaps most on counter corruption?

  • ACPO guidance, page 02374, the ACCAG guidance for the investigation of corruption -- sorry, remind us, please, ACCAG is an acronym for what?

  • That's the association -- the ACPO Counter Corruption Advisory Group.

  • You first published in 2003, last formally revised in 2006?

  • It identified some common factors as potential corruptors, including former police officers, and you explain why, particularly those in security or private investigation sectors, family members and friends with criminal associations, et cetera. The media was also identified as a source of corruption, with "confidential, sensitive or secret information sought by journalists in return for financial inducements or payments through gifts and hospitality."

    Financial inducements I think is self-evident, but how significant a risk was this in relation to what you call payments through gifts and hospitality?

  • That in itself as an issue was not identified as a significant risk. The assessment has identified that the police officers have broadly two commodities with which they would trade, if I could put it that way. One is influence and the other is information. It seems from a chief officer from ACPO perspective that we need to put safeguards in place in order to handle safely the information that we hold and the relationships that officers have and develop, which could become corrupt.

    And so in terms of assessing the risk, the unauthorised handling of information is a significant risk for the service. And that's been identified in the SOCA strategic assessment of corruption.

    In order to deal with the handling of information and protecting information, a number of safeguards have been put in place, which I can describe to you if you wish, but contingent upon all of those are relationships which officers subsequently develop. Family and friends was identified as the highest risk in terms of the unlawful disclosure of information. Former colleagues, particularly those in the private security industry, was also a risk. At the point in which the strategic assessment was done in the summer of 2010, journalists were identified as a risk, but not as high a risk as those other groups.

  • Family and friends would be the highest risk, but that would usually be inadvertent disclosure to family and friends, wouldn't it?

  • It would be inadvertent disclosure on some occasions. On other occasions it would be criminal. So there are examples of, you know, an officer checking out the daughter's new boyfriend through to officers who have criminals who are part of their family and actively seeking intelligence and information from police systems and passing that on.

  • The police systems you refer to, the main risk may be the Police National Computer, mightn't it?

  • Actually more likely, Mr Jay, would be force intelligence systems, so force intelligence systems would be accessible by all officers under the normal routine run of their duties, and safeguards need to be put in place as to how officers handle the information that's available to them.

  • Thank you. You refer on the next page, 02375, to the Schedule to the Police (Conduct) Regulations of 2008 and related Home Office guidance. When you refer in italics there to the relevant standards for police officers and staff, is that within the schedule to the regulations you were referring to?

  • And so if there is a breach of any of those standards, then by definition there is a disciplinary offence?

  • The disciplinary offence then would be measured against the standard, in the police conduct regulations, and the guidance that's set out in italics there would assist the person who's making a judgment in relation to that breach in order to form a view as to the severity of that breach.

  • Most of the guidance is common sense and self-explanatory, but as you say, it sets out a series of touchstones by which a question of breach of the regulations would be assessed?

  • Presumably or maybe you can assist on this: are the regulations currently under review or is it thought that this guidance is satisfactory as it stands?

  • The police conduct regulations are under review, but only to the extent that it is likely that later this year they will also encompass unsatisfactory performance as a way of making the consideration around officers. What happens at the moment is that what begins as a professional standards or a discipline investigation may turn into something where the officer is -- it is I say simply a performance issue, and the conduit between redress for both of those needs to be streamlined. That process is under way.

    The actual standards themselves, the ten standards set out in the 2008 regulations, will remain.

  • Thank you. It may be helpful at this stage, since you are in one sense the presiding mind of ACPO behind all of this, to see where or what ACPO is doing in response to the HMIC report and perhaps in anticipation of what this Inquiry is doing.

  • Because I think we can bring it all together. First of all there's the issue of a statement of mission and values. Could you explain what that is and how you're getting on with that?

  • The statement of mission and values is complete and has been approved by Chief Constables' Council. I can -- if it would assist the Inquiry, I could submit a copy of that. Effectively that sets out the core values of the service upon which other guidance can then be framed.

  • I don't think we've seen it as part of this Inquiry. I'm sure I would have remembered it.

  • So does it occupy the same sort of status as the PSNI's code of ethics we saw yesterday or has it some difference?

  • It has some difference. The code of ethics in the PSNI is effectively the discipline regulations -- are the discipline regulations for the Police Service of Northern Ireland in the same way as the 2008 regulations are here. The code of -- the statement of mission and values has been developed by the service, it's something to which chief constables have signed up, which sets out the principles which would effectively govern the good conduct of officers to which they should aspire, to which officers and staff should aspire in the normal course of their duties.

    It should allow people, allow staff to help them make good decisions. Effectively that was the purpose of it.

  • So we're looking at a high level of generality, perhaps principles of integrity, impartiality, honesty, the sort of things you would expect to see and I'm sure they're there, and in a fairly short document?

  • They are, they're in a very short document. They are stating things such as acting with integrity, compassion and courtesy, using discretion, professional judgment -- I'm paraphrasing, obviously -- making every effort to understand the needs of our communities, responding to well-founded criticism with a willingness to learn and to change, committed to deliver a service that we and those we serve can be proud of and which keeps our communities safe.

  • Is impartiality one of those as well?

  • It may be a general concept --

  • "Showing neither fear nor favour in what we do".

  • Thank you. Then we look at the specifics of ACPO work. We heard Chief Constable Trotter yesterday speak to work which is being undertaken -- I think it will be ready fairly soon -- on police and press relations. That's one piece of work which is being considered by ACPO.

  • Maybe not within your particular portfolio, but it's of interest to you?

  • It is. I have the responsibility to lead on ACPO's response to the HMIC inspection report. There are three principal sets of guidance which are being developed. The first one is the one you allude to, which Chief Constable Andy Trotter is leading on, and that would be guidance in relation to police dealing with the press and the media. The two others are -- the first one is in relation to guidance in relation to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality, and the third is in relation to officers taking secondary employment or having business interests.

  • And you're doing gifts and hospitality?

  • And who is doing secondary employment?

  • I am as well, sir.

    I should also say, Mr Jay, it might assist, that one of the other issues that was raised by HMIC, of course, was the whole issue of corporate governance, and work is being undertaken around recommendations for how corporate governance could be enhanced across the service, and we have engaged with the organisation, the counter corruption organisation Transparency International, who are doing some work for the service in relation to recommendations on corporate governance.

  • When will all of these be ready, the ACPO work?

  • The specific three pieces of guidance that I've alluded to will be taken to Chief Constables' Council on 19 April. They will be in draft form at that point, in order to allow us to consult with other chief constables so that we can take that further.

  • Which of these are provisional or temporary, if I can describe it in those terms, in the sense that they're awaiting further input from this Inquiry, and which of them are going to be standard guidance which lasts the usual three or five years?

  • Effectively the media guidance is being entitled "interim guidance" at this point, because clearly we are awaiting the outcome of this Inquiry in order to take on board the recommendations that come out of this. It may also be that gifts and hospitality guidance will also be affected by the outcome of this Inquiry.

    What we are committed to is making sure that the guidelines that we do take on for the service are fully informed by current issues, so anything that comes out of this Inquiry we will be taking into account, and we will always be in a position to alter, change and develop guidance as we go forward.

  • So the evidence as it emerges from this Inquiry is in one shape or form finding its way into the thinking which is informing the three pieces of work you're doing?

  • I don't want to be chicken and egg. I'm very comfortable with that, but as I said to Mr Trotter yesterday, I am very keen that I get the benefit of the collective experience of extremely senior police officers who know policing very much better than I ever could know it, so your views would be very valuable. And where there is a difference -- I mean you'll obviously settle upon a policy and that's fine, but if there is any area where there is a difference in views, I would be grateful if ACPO would be prepared not merely to tell me how they have resolved it, but also to explain the difference and the different reasons for those views, because that would help also inform me and the analysis which I provide, which then of course will always come back to you to think about.

  • Absolutely, sir, and again if it would assist the Inquiry, I'm more than happy to submit any draft guidance that we're preparing to the Inquiry so that you can see the line of thinking that we've adopted to date.

  • Yes. If you're going back to the council in April, I won't come out with anything before April, and provided it's pretty promptly thereafter, then that's sufficient and then I have your thinking then.

  • But I will, of course, consider very carefully anything, and any competing views which ACPO care to share with me.

  • Thank you very much, sir.

  • Is this also part of the thinking, that ACPO self-evidently is laying down national guidance, you'll expect individual forces throughout the land to apply the principles in the national guidance to their local areas?

  • Yes. I think this is going to be the challenge for the service, Mr Jay. We clearly, I think, acknowledge and agree with HMIC that national guidance is required in these areas. We previously haven't had national standards in relation to the three areas I've discussed. What will be a challenge will be to phrase that guidance in such a way as it can be applied to very different circumstances in different places. It needs to be sufficiently high level to be applicable to those different circumstances, yet sufficiently detailed to be meaningful. That's the balance we're trying to strike.

  • You've given us, if I can properly describe it as such, a sneak preview in relation to one aspect of the gifts and hospitality guidance. At 02380, you say:

    "I anticipate this response [that's to HMIC] will include more definitive guidance to the Police Service on boundaries of acceptability of gifts and hospitality and will likely commence with the clear presumption that no gift, gratuity or hospitality should ever be sought by any officer at any level within the service. The only hospitality offer that can or should be acceptable extends only to the provision of minimal and ordinary hospitality during the course of any meeting and/or function in line with common courtesy."

    Et cetera. So that's what we're likely to see in the final version, are we?

  • Does this spring from the concerns you identify on page 02381 at the top, the huge damage, you say, to public trust and confidence in relation to the occasions when police dealings with the media have been less than professional, and then you refer to the roots in the events in the summer of last year?

  • Yes, I think there are two points I'd like to make in relation to that. ACPO is approaching these issues with real energy and the reason for that is we do recognise that the issues under examination at the moment have potential and have been immensely damaging to public confidence. Immensely damaging to the relationship upon which we build effective policing.

    Because of that corrosive nature of the issues that we're dealing with, we need to approach this very quickly.

    We are heartened but absolutely not complacent by the fact that HMIC, IPCC and other people who have scrutinised the police agree that corruption and malpractise is not endemic or systemic. However, the actions of individuals, particularly senior individuals, has been and can be highly damaging. That's why we need to act with the urgency with which we're addressing this.

  • The work you're doing on secondary employment of business interests, is that going to cover specifically the issue of moving from the Police Service and then working in the media?

  • No, it's not. It's going to deal with officers who --

  • Moonlighting? They're doing a job one day and in the evening they're doing something else?

  • That's right. At the moment there is a variation in what is deemed to be acceptable as secondary employment across the country. HMIC have identified that in their report and we need to look at the decision-making which allows officers and staff to have secondary employment and the guidance for those people making decisions so that we can have some consistency.

    The watchwords for the ACPO response to HMIC are "consistency" and "transparency". We're trying to have those issues writ large in anything that we do.

  • Well, what about post-employment positions?

  • That's an issue that is currently in the early stages of discussion, sir. We are keen to have the debate on post-Police Service employment, but it would be an exaggeration for me to say that active work was under way in relation to it.

  • This may be something you would move on to after completing the substantial work on the three matters --

  • I can sense it coming, yes.

  • Told you it was a good brief! Yes.

  • The issue of leaks, which you cover generically. Understandable: the questions which were asked of you were at a high level of generality. Question 16 and the answer you give at page 02383, when you identify the different possible root causes for leaks. Do all or each of these fall within your own experience as a police officer, obviously looking at what others have done?

  • Yes, I think it's fair to say at the moment the most common leak or the most common approach to the press is normally from disgruntled members of staff who have a beef about organisational issues. The service is going through significant change, as I know you're aware, and the changes within the organisation, some staff feel that they need to vent their anger at the organisation through the press. So that's the most common type of leak that we're having at the moment.

  • The need for balance is something you touch on in your answer to question 17, page 02384. Seven lines from the bottom:

    "The response of the Police Service will need to consider carefully how best to address this issue without causing any unnecessarily or overly risk averse approach which constrains police and media relationships and is ultimately a disservice to the public."

    I believe you're someone who favours greater rather than lesser interaction with the media?

  • Have I correctly understood the position?

  • That is absolutely my position. I am trying to encourage the staff I have responsibility for to have a professional and open relationship with the press, one in which they are confident when they are put on the spot or questioned by the press or have an issue which they wish to discuss with the press that they have the confidence and the professionalism to know how to do that effectively.

  • Well, it won't surprise you that you may have heard that that's precisely the view that I have been suggesting to a number of your colleagues over the last few days.

  • And, sir, I think that one of the reflections I've had on that is that actually staff to some degree are afraid of speaking to the press, and as somebody with leadership responsibilities it seems to me that we have the responsibility to try and give them the equipment to be able to do that properly. I think that's in the public interest and in the interests of the service.

  • Lack of confidence can be dealt with by training. The more important question is whether they have the balance right as to what it is appropriate to put into the public domain.

  • I just raise with you we heard from the crime editor of the Times I think last week along the lines that the majority, nearly all of his public interest stories derive from information -- his term -- which the police had given him which he knows to be unauthorised in the sense that the Police Service as a whole would rather it didn't enter the public domain, so this is an informal exchange. Police might not like it, but it's in the public interest nonetheless. How, if at all, do you address that issue?

  • Obviously if information is being passed to the press in an unauthorised manner, that is not a desirable situation. The flipside of that is that I think the service should reflect on how open and transparent we are with issues that sometimes we might consider not to be in the public interest. So I think there is a place for us to think more openly about how we communicate with the public through the press and that's a matter which I think the service should and ought to be taking on and we are taking on as we speak through the guidance that's been developed.

    For staff to feel that they need to do that in an unauthorised way is regrettable, and at times can be damaging, of course.

  • The answer to Mr O'Neill is that he'll get his information, but in the right way, through a system which is more open and transparent rather than through the side door or perhaps even the back door, is that fair?

  • I think that must be the desirable outcome.

  • Thank you. I move on now, unless there are any specific points Mr Cunningham that you wish to draw out from your written evidence, can I move on now to Staffordshire? It may be we can take this fairly broadly, because we've heard a fair amount of evidence now from the regional forces and their relationships with the regional press. How would you, Mr Cunningham, and then Mr Fegan, characterise the nature of your relationship, first with the regional press and secondly, I suppose, more rarely, with the national press?

  • It is correct, my dealings with the national press are more rare. The dealings with the regional press, the local press within Staffordshire are quite regular, professional, open. I think the local press have an understanding of Staffordshire Police and know individuals within it, so I think they have an understanding of where we currently are, what our priorities are.

    I put in place opportunities to speak to press people myself, formal opportunities, which are recorded, which gives them an insight into where we are as an organisation and the policing priorities we have, and as I've just been saying, I'm endeavouring to encourage the staff of Staffordshire Police to have an open and professional relationship with the local press.

    National press, my dealings with them are very rare, and so in that sense I couldn't characterise those dealings because they're not often enough to have those characteristics.

  • Right. Mr Fegan, what's your take on this?

  • I think I completely agree with the chief. Our relationships are generally very professional, businesslike, certainly with the local and the regional media. When you look at the amount that we sort of deal with overall, we have a Press Bureau system similar to other forces and I did an analysis on that and that showed what I thought we all knew in the force, that around about 5 per cent, less than 5 per cent of all of our enquiries are from the national media, whereas 39 per cent are from three daily newspapers at Staffordshire, so you can see that our focus, because of our geography and where we are, is really with the local and regional media, with whom we have the closest relationships.

    Our relationship with the national media is really when we have a specific news event that we're responding to.

  • You've not had in Staffordshire one of those inquiries which have blown up in the same way that we've seen in other forces with -- well, Bird up in Cumbria or Joanna Yeates in Bristol. No experience like that?

  • Not since I've been chief.

  • Mr Fegan, you say at page 10028, level with the upper hole punch, in the context of the national media:

    "... I think it is also fair to assert that the national media is, by its very nature, much less committed to, or socially responsible for, specific geographic communities in our county -- unlike the local media. This has a significant dynamic upon relationships."

    That's a polite way of saying perhaps that the relationships are less good, is it?

  • I think they're certainly different, Mr Jay. I think, as I said before, our relationships with the local and regional media are very close, we deal with them on a day-to-day basis. We have, I think, relationships of trust and confidence and mutual understanding. We know each other's sort of objectives.

    I think it's different with the national media because it is so infrequent, it is when we get particular news events, and as a result of which, I think, that's why our focus has been more on the local and the regional media, and also, you know, like us, they have a big sort of responsibility for the communities they serve. That's where their information comes from, that's where their revenues come from, and certainly we have those joint objectives in terms of serving communities.

  • I've been asked by one core participant to put to you this point, so I invite your reaction to it: do you think any steps could be taken by the national media, perhaps enforced by a regulator, to improve their relationship with communications departments such as yours?

  • I think that's a very difficult question to answer, Mr Jay. Certainly, as I've said before, our experience is mainly with the local and the regional media, less so than the national media, and perhaps the national media could learn things from their colleagues in the regional/local media.

  • In terms of how your force deals with the press, the first instance or the normal course is that the entry point will be through your office, Mr Fegan, and then, if necessary, you'll put the journalist in touch with the relevant police officer, unless there is pre-existing contact between the journalist and the police officer; is that broadly speaking right?

  • That's correct, yes.

  • I've been asked to put this to you, again by a core participant: as a matter of policy, would you find it preferable for all traditional media requests to come through your office rather than there being any direct contact?

  • No, not really. Again, I think the evidence shows this, we have pre-existing relationships at local policing team level within Staffordshire where local policing team commanders have meetings with the local media and certainly, you know, we encourage the local officers to be open and transparent and to build those relationships with the local media, so that is something that we'd want to continue, I think. What we have, and it's set out in our guidance, is that if the Inquiry is at corporate or policy level, then we would expect that, quite rightly, I think, to come through the central press office.

  • If I may add there, Mr Jay, I would be very disappointed if we arrived at a position where all enquiries from the press had to be funnelled through our press office. I'm seeking a much more organic relationship with the press, which allows officers who are closest to the issues to be able to speak to the press about what those issues are and what we're doing about them. It's part of our accountability.

  • But what do you say about -- not a report back, but a note back that there had been such contact?

  • Yes, I think that's absolutely right and appropriate. I think again proportionate. A local officer speaking to a local journalist about a very local issue, a simple record of the fact that that took place in the officer's notebook would absolutely suffice. If it was something more significant, then clearly that record would have to be more complete.

  • What do you think about the suggestion that that would chill the relationship, because police officers wouldn't speak to journalists?

  • I don't accept that that would be the case. Provided it were done in a way which officers recognised we're not -- what we're not asking for. What we don't want to happen here is the pendulum swing that one of your previous witnesses has spoken about. This is about a measured professional response to another professional agency through the press and how we deal with that ought to be a matter of record. I don't see any difficulty with that.

  • Can I add, sir, we actually record centrally that contact anyway, so this is really just an extension of that.

  • On the issue of hospitality, Mr Cunningham, you've spoken about this already through your ACPO role, wearing your ACPO hat, so it's unsurprising we see similar philosophy running through the way you don't accept hospitality as Chief Constable of the Stafford Police. You tell us at 02397 -- there's really very little of interest. There's one lunch of approximately £20, you tell us, meeting the editor of the Staffordshire Newsletter on 16 April 2010 at a hotel in Stafford: that's it?

  • Yes, that's it. That was some months after I'd arrived and the editor was having lunch with a regional manager from the newspaper group and invited me down to meet the regional manager for a getting to know me kind of event, and I accepted.

  • Your force policy on gifts, gratuities and hospitality, tab 17, page 02401. It's a good and clear policy, but I'm not going to refer to it, we've read it. It's under our tab 17. It's certainly in line with the best regional policies we've seen over the last few weeks.

    Can I ask you, Mr Cunningham, about the Bad Apple system. I don't think we've had reference to this before. It's question 58, page 02406.

  • It's quite a recent piece of software. What does it do?

  • This isn't the software. We've a couple of pieces of software that we use. One is in relation to the auditing of systems, and that is a piece of software that will audit every key stroke that officers make on computers. That allows us, around the protection of information, to provide a very complete audit system.

    The Bad Apple system is a facility which allows officers to report electronically through our intranet system any wrongdoing on the part of colleagues anonymously. It's a system which allows officers to report it without any trace back to their own email account, as it were, so the officers can be confident that they're passing that information anonymously.

  • If the information is received, then whoever is auditing or running the system will pick it up and do the appropriate, is that the idea?

  • Correct. It's an electronic whistle-blowing system as opposed to the confidential telephone system.

  • Is this being run out through police forces up and down the country, as far as you're aware?

  • Yes, a number of forces are picking this up. We certainly weren't the first.

  • Far be it from me to ask a question which might have a very simple answer, but it just struck me that there could be a mismatch between these two systems. It's obvious that you will want through your Bad Apple system confidentially to get information.

  • I can see -- I know exactly the point you're making. The audit system is used in investigation purposes, and what we try and do is give staff the confidence to report through the Bad Apple system, recognising that we will not be tracing that back through audits, but I do recognise the point you're making, sir.

  • I think the last point, Mr Cunningham, Mr Fegan may have a view about this as well, the use of social media. Your statement makes it clear, Mr Cunningham, this is of increasing prevalence, Twitter and Facebook accounts. As a matter of principle, I think you believe it's probably a good thing, but are there any problems with it?

  • Yes. Social networking provides the service with some fantastic opportunities to communicate directly, swiftly, give accurate information to the public on a 24-7 basis that we've never had before. It also provides us with a reach that we have never previously had, and so the opportunities are huge. There are risks. There are risks around on and off duty conduct, officers misbehaving, of officers putting inappropriate comments on the system. There's risks also that were identified through the Serious Organised Crime Agency strategic assessment of officers identifying themselves as police officers and then maybe being the subject of corruptors trying to befriend them and the like.

    So those risks are out there, but what we should do is my firm belief is that we should mitigate those risks rather than stand in front of the -- Canute like in front of the waves of social networking. It's there, it's with us, and we need to manage it effectively.

  • Thank you. A nice image with which to end your evidence, Mr Cunningham. Do you have a view on this, Mr Fegan?

  • Yes, I think it's a fantastic opportunity for the service, it makes us more open and transparent. Within Staffordshire we now have 55,000 people following us on social media sites, and of course this is improving direct engagement with communities. The media follow us. So it makes us more responsive as a service as well as being open and transparent.

  • Those are all the questions I had for you. Is there anything you wish to add, either of you, to your evidence? Obviously the rest of your statements will be taken as read.

  • Just to repeat the point for me, Mr Jay, if I may, that ACPO is responding confidently and openly to the HMIC "Without fear or favour" recommendations and to what was contained within the Filkin report, and we will do likewise as this Inquiry concludes as well. We want to make sure that we take the recommendations of people who are scrutinising our activities very seriously and building them in to the guidance that we're developing so that that guidance actually gets grease to the squeak, as it were, and we're able to respond effectively and quickly.

  • I'm very grateful for that, but I repeat, because it's very important, not just for the police but in relation to all other persons or bodies affected by this Inquiry, that they shouldn't feel it necessary to wait for me. The very fact of the public discussion of these issues has struck me over the months as itself being an extremely important vehicle whereby those who are charged with making decisions can get a sense of what is happening and the perception of what is happening in a way that doesn't require me then to write it all down, although I will, but is itself a very great deal of the positive impact, at least I hope it's a positive impact, of the fact of this Inquiry.

  • Thank you very much indeed. Thank you both very much for coming. 10 o'clock on Monday.

    It is next Wednesday, is it, Mr Jay, that we are starting early?

  • It is, indeed. 9.15.

  • I give notice that on Wednesday next we shall start at 9.15, because a witness will be giving evidence on a video-link and that's the time that we have to do it. Thank you very much indeed.

  • (The hearing adjourned until 10 o'clock on Monday, 2 April 2012)