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
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
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
Better integration between court clerks and police could help, she
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