Meeting between media and ACPO was 'constructive'

Broadcasters and newspaper editors want chief constables to issue “more media and public friendly guidelines” to their forces to improve police relations with the media.

Representatives from the Society of Editors, the Newspaper Society, the Newspaper Publishers Association, ITN, the BBC, Channels 4 and Five have met the media advisory group of the Association of Chief Constables to hear amendments and improvements suggested by the group to a wide range of the guidelines, first issued in 1999, and to suggest their own.

In what Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell called a constructive meeting, the media organisations made initial comments on ACPO’s proposals and sought to go back to the original guidelines to try to make them “more media and public friendly”, he said.

Among the points touched on were the agreements for media attending police raids and the identification of sex offenders, especially protocols for editors to follow if they were proposing to identify paedophiles.

The press suggested ACPO should survey its members to find out how they are applying the guidelines.

Satchwell said the aim was to adopt a constructive approach towards identifying examples of best practice to encourage those forces which were not as open as they should be to follow those examples.

By Jean Morgan

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