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

Date approved at FMG, July 2011. The relevant passage is the last page, 05177, "Contact with the media":

"Durham Constabulary officers and staff are encouraged to have an open and transparent relationship with the media in the furtherance of the prevention and detection of crime. However, this relationship should always be on a professional footing. Situations where the line between professional and personal relationships could become blurred should be avoided at all costs. Exchange of hospitality should be proportionate. It may be acceptable to buy drinks for or accept drinks from individual members of the media at one-off social occasions. However, employees should be aware that if they regularly accept larger items of hospitality, such as tickets to Premiership games, days at the races, et cetera, on a regular basis from the same members of the media, their impartiality may be called into question. They are also leaving themselves open to opportunist reporters wishing to call in favours. All hospitality offered and received must be recorded in line with force policy on gifts and gratuities. If you do pass information on to individual reporters, it should always be for a genuine policing purpose and not just because they asked for it and you feel you owe them a favour. The message is: journalists are not your friends. They only want to talk to you because they hope you will pass on information which would otherwise be denied them."

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