Goodwill at risk from tightening of policy

THE press office at a Scottish police force is at risk of overturning years of goodwill among journalists following a tightening of procedure.

Instead of being regarded as operating arguably the most approachable – and therefore most helpful – police press office in the country, Lothian and Borders Police is to become much more formal in its dealings with the media.

For instance, regarding off-the-record comment.

It is also understood that, other than in exceptional circumstances, police press officers will be unable to use mobile telephones to speak to journalists – landlines of course having the advantage of being easy to monitor.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “We have an excellent working relationship with the media in Scotland who are able to contact our press officers at any time of the day at the media relations office at Force Headquarters or, outwith office hours, our ‘on call’ press officer can be contacted through the Force Communication Centre.

“We believe that the reinforcement of current policies, including using the call logging system, will be of benefit to both Lothian and Borders Police and the media in Scotland.”