A police force is set to interview the family of a murder victim on behalf of the media and is accepting questions from journalists via email.
The proposal has been circulated to journalists by a police force press office ahead of the conclusion of a trial.
An email circulated to journalists said: “Many of you have contacted the press office asking about interviewing the XXX family and any media opportunities towards the trial’s conclusion.
“Following lengthy discussions, some of XXX’s family have agreed in principle to be interviewed by the XXXX Police Press Office team early next week. We will film the interview and provide video, audio and a transcript on request at the trial conclusion.
“The family have expressed a strong opinion not to be contacted or interviewed by the press and we respect their wishes.
“We understand this situation is not ideal, but would be happy to take any questions under consideration…
“With this in mind, please may we ask you continue to respect the privacy of the families at court.”
One journalist, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s like an episode of [Channel 4 police drama] Babylon. They’ve told us it’s this or nothing, and I’m minded to opt for nothing.
“A very worrying precedent that seems to reflect the increasing belief among police family liaison officers and – often press officers themselves – that the media is hostile and not to be trusted.”
Names redacted by Press Gazette because the trial is ongoing