28 March 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Module 2 - Press/Police - Day 17

Lord Justice Leveson
 "The focus of the Inquiry is ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ in the context of the latter’s relationship with the public, the police and politicians. All of these matters overlap, and my goal must be to consider what lessons, if any, may be learned from past events and what recommendations, if any, should be made for the future, in particular as regards press regulation, governance and other systems of oversight."

Module 2 

"The relationship between the press and the police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest."

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE
Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE
Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE
BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Telegraph Live Blog HERE (last Wednesday)
Guardian Live Blog HERE(Last Wednesday)

 Links to today's articles, Blogs, comment and information relevant to the Leveson Inquiry:
ITV News -  Operation Motorman investigation:-
 Wednesday, 28th March 2012
Link to Day 16 HERE

Today's Witnesses:
Chief Constable Matthew Baggott ( PSNI )
Joanne Bird ( Head of Media and Marketing, BTP )
Oliver Cattermole ( Director of Communications, ACPO )
Jane Furniss ( CEO, IPCC )
Sir Hugh Orde ( President of ACPO )
Chief Constable Andrew Trotter ( BTP )
Liz Young ( Head of Corporate Communications, PSNI )

To be read:
Sir Paul Stephenson ( Former MPS )

Chief Constable Matthew Baggott  Witness Statement in Full
Liz Young and CC Matthew Baggott interviewed together
PSNI Chief Constable Matthew Baggott and Head of Comms Liz Young up now at #Leveson Inquiry
The PSNI press officer completely misunderstands relationship between PRs and hacks when she calls journalists her "customers" - @gavindrake
Baggott: Anxious that the press should have access to the right people at the right time. - @hackinginquiry - Young: National media are not as versed with NI politics and can be unprofessional if don't get the access they want. 
Baggott: Local media understand consequences of reporting and creating a sound bite without developing the context.
Baggott: 170 attacks on officers in 2010, can't relax media guidelines too fast, too quickly
Baggott: All formal meetings with media arranged by the comms team and recorded in database.  
Baggott: Provided dinners Nov 09 and Dec 11 to cross-section of prominent reporters. Accepted no hospitality.
Baggott: Hospitality should be controlled, for a purpose and consistent.
Inquiry counsel Lucinda Boon reviewing PSNI hospitality policy, has been recently updated.
Young: Rumour Baggott unhappy in his post was internal, gave off-the-record briefing to media to explain context.
#Leveson on diversion, asks Baggott about Leicestershire/Portuguese police and McCann DNA story. Should have briefed media on the accuracy?
Baggott: Wanted to maintain positive relationship with Portuguese, would have been wrong to breach confidence.  [Baggott was Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police.]
Baggott: Five leak investigations in five years. Two resulted in officers disciplined.
Baggott: Media caused disruption to local community during McCann case, had complaints from residents about intrusive questions.
Baggott sent letter to prominent editors, asking them to restrain reporting speculation.
#Leveson asks Baggott if he will provide complaint to PCC and the reply.
Baggott: Consequences of speculation and loose reporting is a series issue for the press to consider. 

Young: Such sensitivity in NI, using a phrase in the wrong way can cause difficulties. Local media understand that nationals don't. - @lisaocarroll -  Baggott: still confronted by a multi-faceted terrorist threat day in day out, so there is an element of caution in media policy
Young: dont believe there is any scope for socialising with media at all
Re McCann Case: -  Baggot says needed to maintain relationship with Portuguese police to hopefully “one day what happened that poor child”.
Baggott: I wrote to newspaper editors twice to warn about speculation about Mad McCann. I did not get a 'hugely positive response
Baggott: Could have been greater voice or greater authority to explain consequences of speculation about M #McCann. PCC no help
Young: No consistency in application of ACPO guidelines. Some following them loosely. 

Young: due to NI history, using phrase in wrong way can lead to wrong meaning. Local media aware of this but national press less so - @IndexLeveson - Baggott: local media in NI have to live with the consequences of their reporting
Baggott: I'm looking for care to be taken by officers with regards to security situation, threat facing officers in NI still real
Baggott says cannot relax media guidelines too quickly
Baggott: we have to exercise great caution in how we support our officers in their contact with media without restricting them

PSNI press head Liz Young : National media take more handling than local media, don't understand sensitivities - @rosschawkins - Re McCann /Baggott controversy - (Reporter told #leveson UK police cd have stopped inaccurate stories about forensics & McCanns with off rec guidance)
Baggott : people of Rothley (where McCanns' lived) had variety of complaint around disruption to life by large media presence
Baggott wrote to editors asking for restraint, said some alleged facts reported in press bore little relation to evidence
Baggott - media speculation certainly hindered effort to find and trace Madeleine McCann

Chief Constable Andrew Trotter  Witness Statement in Full
Joanne Bird and CC Andrew Trotter interviewed together
@policeChiefs:ACPO CAG
ACPO CAG provide "commonality of approach" to media relations -
CC Trotter "all meetings with journalists should be recorded" 
CC Andy Trotter "more not less" communication with the media is needed
CC Andy Trotter at #Leveson - constant bad news stories are "corrosive" on public image of #Police

Joanne Bird at #Leveson - "entirely appropriate" that there not be a culture of hospitality in the public sector 

Up now are Chief Constable Andrew Trotter and Joanne Bird (head of media & marketing) of the British Transport Police
Trotter: Ladbroke Grove train crash 1999, handling of media not good. I became press spokesperson from that point.
Trotter is also head of the ACPO communication advisory group, responsible for speaking to press on behalf of the body.
Trotter: The journalists I speak to have said some forces have closed down a bit.
Trotter: Presenting new guidelines to ACPO council in April for adoption, response to Filkin and July 2011.
Trotter: Shouldn't identify those arrested. It does lead media to often playing a guessing game with us to try and work it out.
Trotter: Have had problems in forces around the country with arrested people being identified and having campaigns against them.
Trotter: Occasionally receive complaints from forces on the conduct of media at major incidents. Have contacted PCC.
Trotter: The sheer volume of the national media descending upon a local community can have all sorts of problems. 
Trotter: It’s not in the public interest for journalists to attempt to investigate a case on our behalf.
Trotter: Frontline officers not always best to deal with media, need proper access and a dedicated senior level spokesperson.
Trotter: Officers should not have a close relationships with journalists. And if they do, then they should declare it.
Trotter: Many journalists are not specialist crime reporters anymore, can be helpful to give them a broader understanding.
Bird: Press office team is approx 16 strong.
Trotter: Good news stories are rarely popular but persistent imbalance has corrosive effect on public's view of crime.
Bird: Attended senior officers meeting with Mail crime reporter on Romanian pickpockets on the rail network.
Bird: People who have died named by witnesses, or by friends on social networking sites, which journalists see before family told.
Trotter: Working with the Met is different from working in some of the smaller areas.

Acpo comms lead Trotter : revealing gender & age of arrested suspects does lead to media playing guessing game about their id
Trotter: Officers of transport police should not have a close relationshp with journalists and if they do they should declare it.


ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde up now at the #Leveson Inquiry
Sir Hugh at #Leveson - "there is always a tension" between the national and local agenda
Sir Hugh at #Leveson - it is important not to "over complicate" procedures to ensure officer discretion
Sir Hugh at #Leveson - "I am more comfortable with a Code of Ethics" over prescriptive rules

"Chilling effect in the short term" in police/press relations - Sir Hugh at #Leveson Inquiry

The next witness is Sir Hugh Orde, president of ACPO and chief constable of police service in Northern Ireland.
Orde: Sheer intensity and scale means need someone to support you more in the routines of your day than perhaps other forces do.
Orde: There's always a tension between local agendas and policies, and the national central agenda.
Orde: In NI, more than just a code around the media, it’s a code around how you behave.
Orde: Front line officers have huge amount to do need basic operating principle, if over-complicated difficult to stick to.
Orde: Was subject of public attention during time in PSNI but wishes it to remain private matter.
Orde: My sense of PCC was on of a rather powerful/powerless relationship.
Orde story claims he designed his own uniform, and is still online
Orde: Commissioner has been very clear that standards should apply across the service and not be bespoke to individual forces.
Orde: We need to be careful not to become so rigid that we spoil what is a critical relationship with the media.
Orde now describing challenges faced during time heading PSNI.
Orde: As NI became less interesting to the media, dedicated reporters withdrew and tension increased with force.
Orde: Have to be clear in your own mind relationship with journalist is about sharing info, not being friends.

Sir Hugh: try to provide a consistent approach to threats country faces

Sean O'Neill - @TimesCrime
Hugh Orde: my experience in Met was relationship with media was critical, well-informed and worked v well
Chief Constables will discuss new national media and hospitality/gifts policy on April 19 Hugh Orde tells #leveson
Orde telling #leveson PSNI has a code of ethics for officers which covers all conduct inlcuding relations with media
Police service has been "surprised" by close relationships between some media outlets and some individuals, Orde tells #leveson
We must be careful not to become too rigid with rules and spoil the critical police-media relationship, Orde tells #leveson

Orde : leaking of info from Police National Computer was an issue when I was at Met but not a key strategic threat
Orde: Relationship between paper and PCC is one of the rather powerful/powerless when I complained about silly story
Hugh Orde met Andy coulson, editor of news of the world in January 2007 at request of editor of paper in "southern Ireland".
Orde: in 2002, officers of PSNI reticent to speak to media By 2009 it was routine for officers of all ranks to do so
#leveson asks Orde not to "over correct" rules on meetings with press and issue of logs
Jay: Dinner with Coulson, then NoW ed, in Jan 2007. Orde: About telling story of policing in NI.
Jay taking Orde through the PSNI media policy.
Orde: Need to guard against shutting down and maintain a professional relationship with journalists.
Orde: When I left PSNI in 2009, view was culture based on commitment to openness and transparency.

Sir Hugh Orde : police need to guard against becoming too defensive with journalists

Oliver Cattermole   Witness Statement in Full


Orde has finished. The next witness is Oliver Cattermole, director of comms at ACPO.
Cattermole leads a team of six, to support and provide advice to 340 chief officers. 
Cattermole: ACPO has been criticised for not falling under FOIA (it now does). Government had to make decision, not us.
Cattermole: Would prioritise national news outlet over local press, not creating same impact.
Cattermole: Have occasionally accepted a meal or coffee from a journalist in context of work meeting - 20 times in 4 years.
Cattermole: Former officers commenting on Moat case criticised operation without knowing geography of area - need knowledge.
Cattermole: recording press-police contact need not have a stifling effect

Head of comms at ACPO: "Communications is an absolutely critical part of policing". Filking report comments on openness important
Jane Furniss  Witness Statement#1


      We're off at #Leveson. First witness is Jane Furniss, CEO of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. She has provided two statements.
      Furniss: Public can seek our advice and assistance on police, can appeal to us. Police rerquired under law to refer matters to us.
      Furniss: Decide mode of investigation for matters referred to us - we investigate, manage inv, supervise inv or leave to police.
      In 2010/11, out of 59,442 allegations received by IPCC 1,279 refer to improper disclosure of information by officers.
      Furniss: It may be someone who's looking to see whether his daughter's new boyfriend is a suitable young man.
      Furniss has prepared a report for Home Secretary on investigating corruption in the police service. Will provide privately to #Leveson.
      Jay QC runs through examples from statement of suspected leaks to press from police - Furniss says no evidence came from officers.
      Furniss: We will make information available unless there's a very good reason not to, rather than the other way around.
      Furniss: I think journalists trust us that we will tell them as much as we can, when we can.
      IPCC guidance says hospitality appropriate as long as not frequent, regular or lavish.
      Jay asks about claims around de Menezes case. Furniss not at IPCC in 2005, says witnesses told inaccurate details to press.
      Furniss: Member of staff on IPCC investigation team decided to share info with the family and press about mistake.
      Furniss: Member of staff identified and resigned. Did considerable damage to IPCC, she believed was in family's interest to reveal.
      Inquiry moves on to Ian Tomlinson and Mark Duggan cases.
      Furniss: My press officer told journalists exchange of fire in Duggan case. It was a very serious error.
      Furniss: I'm probably going to be criticised for criticising the press. #Leveson: I'm spending my life doing that.
      Furniss: Press very quick to criticise us when we put out the wrong information. They're very unforgiving when we get it wrong.
      Furniss: I think Filkin's recommendations on keeping a record are common sense.
      Furniss: We shouldn’t expect as a society that newspapers are best place to decide something in an organisation is wrong.
      Furniss: If someone gaining benefit from sharing information it questions the propriety.  (ED: speaking with regard to the payment of a whistleblower by the Telegraph in the MPs' expenses case)
      Furniss: IPCC is the body that provides oversight of complaints system for the police
      Furniss: public can seek our advice in making complaint, have right of appeal if dissatisfied with way police handled complaint

      Furniss: it's quite a bureaucratic system that is hard to explain
      Furniss says press office calls off the record briefings "guidance". Haven’t found it to be abused by journos
      Furniss: I think journos trust us that we will tell them as much as we can, when we can
      Furniss: I don't think alcohol and work mix, generally, especially when you're dealing with sensitive issues
      Furniss: our organisational view would be we shouldn't be in receipt of gifts or hospitality
      Furniss being quizzed about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in July 2005
      Furniss says IPCC staff member on investigation team leaked info to de Menezes family & press. Identified and resigned
      Discussing cases of Ian Tomlinson and Mark Duggan
      Furniss: press naturally want to get the scoop, ask qu's and get answers before rivals 
      Furniss said press officer told journos it appeared there was an exchange of fire in Duggan case. Says was "very serious error" 
      Furniss: journos don't wine & dine public officials because they like them, but because they want something/to influence decisions
      Furniss: I read newspapers with scepticism, story will only be part of the story. But important to have free press 

      IPCC head Furniss tells #leveson it made "serious error" over Mark Duggan shooting but press v quick to criticise  - @rosschawkins - Furniss of IPCC - journalists wine and dine public officials because they want something