Roy Greenslade in his Evening Standard column today argues that there is a link between the cases of Sally Murrer and Damian Green, because they show the way the police have been clamping down on information released to the press.
He writes: "They are the tip of an iceberg because they led to arrests and secured a public profile. But across Britain, police have been clamping down on the amount of information given to journalists. Despite appointing public relations officers, who did not exist in my long-ago reporting days, the amount of information given to local reporters has diminished down the years. Whether they are misquoting the Data Protection Act or simply being bloody-minded, police are giving out less and less information that should be in the public domain."
I think Roy is right. At Press Gazette we had lots of complaints that PROs were withholding information that used to be routinely given to journalists by police officers. There were many examples where the data protection and human rights acts were wrongly given as reasons not to give out information. When I was an evening paper reporter the police used to let you copy what you wanted out of the incident book at the police station.
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