Opinion: From our Readers - Police PROs should be encouraged, not culled

I completely agree there is a need for police public relations officers to gain a 'louder voice' (News, 4 December).

One only has to look back at the national furore following the G20 demonstrations earlier this year to recognise regaining public confidence will be at the forefront of any chief constable's mind, let alone our political masters.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties are jockeying for the frontrunner position on this issue. The Tories are doing this via their obsession that directly elected commissioners will ensure greater local accountability; Labour, via its intention to strengthen police authorities.

What is abundantly clear, though, is that, together with other colleagues in the public sector, the police service will be expected to deliver more for less. Only last week Labour announced a wish to save at least £75m per annum by 'rationalising back-room support services'. And it will be down to cash-starved force communications teams to play a vital role rebuilding public confidence in policing.

It is therefore essential that best practice is shared and promoted across force boundaries. We must champion the value of police PROs and guard against a cull of communicators as police chiefs struggle to balance the books.

Metin Enver, head of communications, The Police Federation of England and Wales

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