Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Policing in the 21st Century

The Home Affairs Committee has decided to extend its inquiry into Policing in the 21st Century to take in the issue of the police's relationship with the media.

The Committee is concerned about instances where media have apparently been privy to information about operational details of investigations, and also where police have involved themselves in media investigations, for example last year's police complaint to Ofcom regarding a Channel 4 'Dispatches' documentary.

It has decided to hold one further evidence session in the inquiry to hear from police representatives and from people who have been affected by the media's awareness of confidential police activities.

Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said:

"The relationship between the press and the police is very important and that is why the Committee will need to examine it as part of the inquiry. There have been several high profile cases where the media have apparently become aware of what should be confidential details of police operations, and are able to "doorstep" people as they are arrested for example the cases of Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric."

"Obviously a modern police force must be equipped to deal with media interest in high profile cases but we are keen to understand how the relationship between the modern police and media is working."

The date of this session and details of witnesses will be announced in due course.

Details of this inquiry were set out in a press notice issued on 18 January 2008.

Session 2007-08/38 21 May 2008