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26 May 2016

NMA: Police Media Guidance Must Not ‘Create New Barriers That Entrench Police Secrecy’

The News Media Association has said that professional guidance for police on media relations must not create “new barriers that entrench police secrecy.”

The College of Policing is currently developing authorised professional practice on media relations and has launched a public consultation on its draft guidance.

The NMA will be responding to the consultation and will continue to point out the proposals that could hinder day to day reporting by journalists.

NMA legal, policy and regulatory affairs director Santha Rasaiah said: “The police must be open and accountable to the public it serves. As the first sentence of the draft guidance states, ‘a successful working relationship between the police service and the media is vital.’

“However, professional guidance must create a structure to help and support any police officer to do so, not create new barriers that entrench police secrecy.

“The draft Media Relations guide contains some obvious pitfalls and proposes unnecessary retreat from the 2010 ACPO guidance in areas important to day to day reporting. The NMA will respond and we hope that College of Policing will listen and make the changes necessary.”