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

There's two things, sir, I would like to address and I'll do both very briefly.

One is I'm aware that there's been some discussion about would it be a good idea to have a senior police officer running the media set-up of a police force. In my view, that would be a retrograde step. I think most police forces have been there. It's not somewhere I would choose to go, personally, because there is a professionalism within media and communications which is not the natural strong suit of police officers. So that's one thing I would be grateful to be able to say.

The other thing is I picked up from the previous witness and the questioning and the line there was the difficult balance of allowing and encouraging access between media and police officers to inform public, to assist the police in doing their job, but the difficulty of recording that in some way. I don't think it's unreasonable to look at some methodology of requiring all contact between police officers and the media to be in some way recorded, or at least a record kept that the contact has taken place, if not a recording of every word spoken.

But I think the answer I gave about the local community issues is where it becomes a difficult balancing act, because there would be so much contact and it would be of such a low-level and local nature as to be probably overly burdensome for the benefit that's gained.

I think a system is capable of being developed that would provide safeguards on both sides.

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