BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Police communications under the spotlight

The Association of Police Press Officers (APPRO) has raised

concerns over funding as it cautiously welcomes attempts by the

Government to boost police PR.



'The worry is for some of the smaller forces who do not have the funds

to do things they would like to do in terms of communications,' said

APPRO chair Sue Nicholson.



She insisted police forces in general already have a strong commitment

to PR but face the question of how it can be better managed to reduce

the fear of crime.



The Government wants police forces to step up PR to reduce that

fear.



A report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary this week urged forces to

be 'smarter' in their communications and marketing.



In examining ways of reducing fear of crime, the report wants to see

higher visibility of the traditional bobby on the beat, better handling

of emergency calls and a greater use of PR to raise awareness about

police achievements.



APPRO blames, in part, a lack of funds in regional news offices, which

means that while the crime incident is given a high news billing often

only the high-profile resolutions at a crown court level are

covered.



Better integration between court clerks and police could help, she

suggests.



The report came just days after the Government's White Paper on police

reform, which aims to make the police more accountable to the community

as well as improving efficiency.



Controversially, this included giving uniforms and some police powers to

civilian wardens, to be known as community support officers.



The Police Federation's corporate affairs team is launching a full

lobbying campaign in January. A strategy will be drawn up after

consultation with officers.



Media relations, co-ordinated by PRO Julie Ballard, has already focused

on officers' concerns over the use of civilians in policing roles and

reform of pay and conditions.



The Federation also argues the reforms don't do enough to help officers

work more efficiently and is calling for investment in technology to

free officer time spent on paperwork.



It would seem as though more needs to be done to assure police PROs that

support will be made available to reducing the fear of crime.



Especially since they face a tough internal comms challenge in

persuading officers that the White Paper reforms are in the forces' best

interests.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home for the day after being told by the judge earlier this afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Conservative-leaning public affairs experts have questioned the value of Labour's adoption of US-style campaigning tactics in the wake of the opposition hiring election strategist David Axelrod.

PLMR appoints Professor Tim Morris as non-executive director

The vet who helped establish the British Horseracing Authority's anti-doping and animal welfare programme has joined PLMR as a non-executive director.