Police Face Clampdown Over Contact With Journalists After Corruption Inquiry

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First Posted: 04/01/12 06:35 Updated: 04/01/12 06:42   PA

Police face a clampdown over contact with journalists today as an inquiry into media relations with forces is published.

Elizabeth Filkin, the former parliamentary commissioner for standards, is expected to reveal details of a new framework for officers talking to news outlets.

Her report is one of several inquiries launched in the wake of Scotland Yard's phone-hacking investigation, which has unearthed allegations of payments to officers from journalists.

Proposals are expected to represent the toughest clampdown on media relations since former Commissioner Sir Paul Condon launched an anti-corruption drive at the Metropolitan Police in the 1990s.

Ms Filkin's findings into "Ethical Issues Arising From The Relationship Between Police and Media" also come as Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into press standards is poised to focus on media-police relations.

Last month, inspectors said officers should be banned from accepting free tickets to high-profile events such as Wimbledon, the FA Cup Final or pop concerts.

Sir Denis O'Connor, the chief inspector of constabulary, said accepting such hospitality risked creating the perception that police officers had conflicts of interest, damaging the service's reputation in the eyes of the public.

The review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that while corruption was not endemic, there was a "hugely inconsistent approach" across police forces in their attitude towards free gifts.

Ms Filkin was called in by former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson to examine ethical considerations that should underpin relations.

Sir Paul resigned in July amid allegations about the force's PR contract with Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, who was later arrested on suspicion of phone hacking.

She is due to present her findings alongside new Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe.

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Filed by Michael Rundle  |