NUJ calls for an official investigation into the reporting of police misconduct cases
The Times has discovered that misconduct hearings are often surrounded in secrecy and journalists are blocked from getting information.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“The findings by The Times which show the level of secrecy surrounding police misconduct hearings is deeply alarming, especially in the light of the Sarah Everard case. The fact that the newspaper has had to use FOI requests to gain clarity on this issue tells its own story. The results of their investigations show that one in four hearings were held in private, that journalists were routinely blocked when they argued for open proceedings, and that almost half of 40 misconduct outcome notices relating to officers and staff in England and Wales in the past month were anonymised. The government must launch an immediate investigation into this situation and ensure that these hearings are made public and there is the greatest possible transparency. Public confidence – particularly among women – in the police is woefully low, and this investigation reveals an institution that is resistant to scrutiny and oversight. The police must be held accountable and stop protecting their own in this way.”