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

I think that this is the kind of difficult issue that we have in terms of relations with the press. On the one hand, we need to have a healthy, searching, probing press to hold us to account as public servants. On the other hand, we want to be able to ensure that there is integrity and honesty in the relationships between police officers and media. I recognise that our approach, which is trusting, has fewer controls on than perhaps a larger organisation where perhaps everything goes through a central media unit.

I think if we were to do that, we would have to invest quite significantly in the media department. It is small, but perhaps that might have to be the price we pay, unless we make very, very explicit -- and we have got some guidance in our written policies that Barbara has helpfully produced over the years, in terms of what can and can't be done, what should be done locally, how to do certain scenarios. But the fact of the matter is we operate on a high trust basis with our staff and a high trust basis with the local written media, and perhaps that's something that we need to really kind of tighten up on to find what is this happy medium, because I don't want breaches and any kind of allegations being made, but similarly I don't want to inhibit the democratic principles of free speech.

Now, police officers clearly have to abide by our policy, the force policy, but I'm sure that they will adapt to anything that we can come to. So I'm interested to see what comes out of all of this, this whole scrutiny.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech