That thorny relationship between the police and press was back on the agenda at the Society of Editors Scotland conference at the weekend.
And much as reporters will be heartened to hear a senior officer – Lothian and Borders’ assistant chief constable – making the right noises about new levels of trust, they will still remain sceptical until they see real evidence of it on the ground.
But if any police officer is wondering “what’s in it for us?” they should take a look at three stories this week in which regional newspapers have had a hand in nailing dangerous criminals.
The Coventry Evening Telegraph went straight to the police when the son of one of a notorious “Bonnie and Clyde” duo appeared in its office to shop them. The Ham & High had a direct hand in unmasking a serial violent mugger. And thanks to The Comet in Hertfordshire, a fraudster, who falsely claimed his daughter had died of cancer, was sentenced to community service.
These are direct examples of how useful the regional press can be in fighting crime, and they’re repeated every week across the country.
So how about, in return, a bit more information from forces about day-to-day crime – and not just when you want help with public appeals?