PUBLIC SECT0R: Police and media agree on release of crime records

Avon and Somerset Police has backed down over its decision to stop officers supplying the media with details of petty crimes.

The forces' communications inspector Andy Jackson has now met the chief critic of the move, Wells Journal editor Philip Welch, and according to Jackson, 'a compromise has been reached'.

'We will now supply certain details. We think this is a positive outcome as the point has been taken that what served no purpose was to print lists of crimes that did nothing but heighten fear of crime.

'We wanted to concentrate our efforts on using the media to help us solve crime,' Jackson added.

The move, involving a letter to officers on the beat asking them to limit information given to journalists about lesser crimes, sparked national media attention and criticism from neighbourhood watch groups last week.

Welch agreed that a favourable outcome had now been reached.

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