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

I was thinking more around Elizabeth Filkin's report, sir, which I think I described the HMIC report to media/police relations as being more reasonable, and on reflection I would like to take that back. I do accept that Elizabeth Filkin's report was an honest and decent attempt to grasp what was obviously a very complex issues, and issues, I hasten to add, which could have some impact on democracy, because if we get to a position in this period of austerity, as it's so been described, the police period of austerity, if you get to a position where police officers become agents of the state, I do think there's a real risk that they would lose the political independence and could be, who knows, potentially utilised by any government of the day for its own purposes, which might not be in the interests of its -- of the general position, so that there are some -- I mean, taking it forward even more, I think some real crucial points around the public profile of the police.

I felt that the Filkin report, in particular, was naive in the sense that it required absolute openness to work, and we've heard from Mr Paddick, or this Inquiry has heard from Mr Paddick about his report on rape and the quality of rape investigations. I thought it was an interesting point because subsequent to that you had two absolute scandals, in my opinion, John Worboys and Kirk Reid, where it could be argued, certainly more than argued, that the Met had been culpable and had failed in apprehending those rapists. Had that report -- who knows. Had that report from Mr Paddick been released earlier, perhaps it might have had an effect, a political effect, in beefing up the -- or reinforcing resources for rape investigation, sexual offenders investigation, which has always been a Cinderella of policing anyway, and come secondary to political considerations of the day.

So I have concerns about the Filkin report in that sense, and I also felt that it was let down by a patronising tone, sir, towards journalists, that journalists do not practice abstinence well. Nor do the police in my experience and nor, if I may be so bold to say, nor do lawyers. We're picked out there as people, and I'm talking about journalists in general, who go along to buy a lunch and pour as much wine down somebody's throat to get a story, and I don't know any reporters that have ever operated like that, not crime reporters.

There's a warning to police officers: be careful because journalists could be tape recording everything you say. I don't know any crime reporters that would ever have tape-recorded conversations between themselves and police officers, and so I felt there was a negative approach to moving forward.

At least the HMIC report does accept that the media is part of police life, that there needs to be openness and a maturity around engaging with the media, and so in that sense I just wanted to make the point, clarify that I felt that the HMIC approach was a more mature one and perhaps one that might be -- we might be --

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