TV judge and barrister Robert Rinder and his thoughts on trial by media proved to be one of the highlights of the Thursday sessions of the national Police Federation conference.
He called for forces and the Federation to ensure they led an ‘effective, meaningful and creative’ media strategy, sharing good news stories to help counter the negative coverage now seen in the changing media landscape. They had, he said, the power to influence the conversation on social media.
But he also stressed that he felt the majority of the public were supportive of police officers.
Speakers in the session included John Apter, chair of the Federation, who repeated calls for forces to release body-worn video, where legally appropriate to help provide a more balanced view than was often the case with short snippets posted on social media.
Other sessions on Thursday covered use of force, misogyny in policing, detectives, recruitment, protests and the conduct regs.
In closing the conference, John Apter said: “We would rather not have had to do a virtual conference but I think we made it the best it could be. We had over 1,200 delegates registered, some from Canada and America, so it was a great opportunity to reach more people and the feedback has been really positive.”
A South Wales Police Federation ezine covering all key sessions at conference will be available later this month.