Public Sector: Bid to modernise police PR

Incoming chair promises to give 'louder voice' to police communicators.

Police communicators need to gain a 'louder voice', according to the incoming chair of the National Association of Police PR Officers (APPRO).

Norfolk Constabulary director of comms and public affairs Anne Campbell has taken the top APPRO role after being elected at the annual conference last month.

She told PRWeek she would modernise the organisation in an attempt to give police communicators a more vocal presence.

Campbell added: 'As we tackle the single top-down target of improving the confidence of the public, we will need to deliver more media and comms services at a lower cost.

'We need to explore ways of easily sharing best practice, tools that work, know-how, research and analysis across geographical boundaries.'

The news comes as local public sector bodies consider forming 'communications hubs', including police, councils and primary care trusts. Cabinet Office permanent secretary for government comms Matt Tee recently suggested he supported such a development (PRWeek, 30 October).

Campbell is calling for APPRO members to share their views on how the body should be modernised. E-questionnaires are being sent out this week and feedback will be considered at the next national meeting in January.

APPRO exists to develop skills and provide a professional network for those working in communications roles for the police service.

HOW I SEE IT - RICHARD ANDREWS, Comms officer, Hampshire Police Authority and CIPR Local Public Services Group committee member

Like all areas of the public sector, police service comms is going to feel the squeeze in the coming months, and best practice has to be seized upon if the standard of comms is going to stay high while the budgets get tighter.

The recent flooding incidents in Cumbria showed the benefits of bringing together local council and emergency service communicators for the greater good of the communities they serve.

This is the direction in which all public services communications may be moving in the future.

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