Police and media organisations have teamed up to compile a handbook advising detectives on how to deal with media attention during major investigations.
The Daily Telegraph, Newsquest and the BBC met the police Project Team and all 43 UK police forces were consulted.
The Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office also contributed.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gary Chatfield, of the National Crime Squad, who drafted the document, said: “During the research it became clear that there was a training gap with regard to officers in their confidence and ability to deal directly with the media, not just in front of the cameras, but even speaking to reporters on a basic level.
“The message from this document is that officers need to be prepared to actively engage and deal with the media in major investigations, and high-profile situations, to maintain control over their investigations.”
The handbook encourages the police to focus on the needs and demands of the media in the first 24 to 72 hours of an investigation, and longer in high-profile cases. It concentrates on child sex abuse cases, deaths in police care or custody, serial murders and rapes and child abduction.