PUBLIC SECT0R: Notts Police enhances comms after review

Nottinghamshire Police has reorganised its communications function following a review.

The six-strong central team has been replaced with an enlarged ten-strong communications function.

This will include a central five-strong team and a further five PROs based in divisional centres, with two in Nottingham and one each in South Nottinghamshire, Bassetlaw/Newark and Mansfield/Ashfield. These divisions were created in April last year following a reorganisation to better match local authority boundaries.

The review has also led to the downgrading of the top comms role, previously called head of media and PR, and held by David Storer, who left earlier this month after taking early retirement.

A new role of head of corporate comms has been created but will report to the corporate development team headed by a command officer. The comms function was previously a separate team with a reporting line to superintendent level.

Senior PRO Richard Sellors, who has been promoted to acting media and PR manager to manage the function until the corporate comms head is appointed, said the best value review also highlighted a need to concentrate more on proactive PR and 'less on the reactive side'.

He added that how this is achieved will be decided by the new corporate communication head, when appointed.

The divisional-based PROs are more likely to be involved in proactive work with the central team handling the reactive side when necessary.

Storer, who has been with the force for 22 years, is to carry on working in PR and media training as a consultant. During his time with the force he has handled PR for some of the area's most high-profile stories, including the 1984 miners' dispute.

The force's last permanent media and PR manager Aamer Iqbal left last year to head comms at the city's Queen's Medical Centre (PRWeek, 4 October 2002).

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