Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has won praise from a clutch of
leading national newspapers over its media relations work in the run-up
to, and for the duration of, the trial of the serial killer doctor,
Senior journalists from the Daily Telegraph, the Times and the Daily
Mail wrote separately to the GMP after the trail praising the force’s
’brave and innovative’ handling of the case, the openness of the press
briefings and value of allowing issues around the case to be brought
into the public domain ahead of the trial.
The GMP was specifically praised for the management of two, pre-trial
In an unusually frank move, the GMP press team secured agreement of the
Crown Prosecution Service and GMP Chief Constable David Wilmot, to allow
journalists access to the prosecution’s summary.
The move comes at a time when relations between UK police forces and the
press are coming under increasing strain due to what many journalists
deem inadequate media relations strategies.
GMP communications director Collette Booth has recently brought in a
media relations head, Sarah Dean-Forrester, and is working through a
restructure of the department to allow closer co-operation between
police officers and the press office to enhance press relations.