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

I've been interested to hear some of the discussion whilst sitting in the Inquiry today, and it certainly does seem to me that if we take a very wide definition of hospitality, attending a conference and eating a dinner at that conference with tens or potentially hundreds of other people was not really what I was referring to in describing hospitality. So I think I accept your point that this may seem overly definitive and would need to be clarified, but I think hospitality in respect of an individual or individuals, excepting perhaps in a private dinner or accepting a private gift, I can see and the union can see no place for those activities within a transparent and open Police Service.

I suppose I'm forced to ask the question: how would policing suffer, what part of policing would suffer, if those opportunities were simply ruled out full stop and the agonising of individual officers or staff as to whether they could or couldn't accept a gift or a private dinner or a business lunch were ruled out? It seems to me that the business lunch that the senior investigating officer attends could be replaced by the officer saying to the journalist, "I have a very good office in my police station, would you like to come in and have a cup of tea and we'll talk these things over?"

It does seem to me that there has been a very great difficulty on the part of staff and officers potentially in interpreting what it is or isn't acceptable and some very clear lines on that, we feel, should be drawn.

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