Afternoon Hearing on 28 March 2012

Chief Constable Matt Baggott , Oliver Cattermole , Sir Hugh Orde and Liz Young gave statements at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(2.00 pm) MR JAY We're now on paragraph 25.1 of your statement, our page 05371, where you explain that you did accept invitations from individual organisations working in the media but this was infrequent, and then you refer us to the register of gifts and hospitality which is on the website and which I have had a look at, but I haven't looked at all relevant entries which might pertain to you. Unless I've misunderstood it, I think there was a dinner with the editor of the News of the World on 10 January 2007. Do you recall that?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. That was probably Mr Coulson. Was that in London or in Belfast?
A. That was in London, it was in response to a request by the local editor who was actually Southern Ireland based, Dublin based, if I would meet to explain what was going on in Northern Ireland, and I agreed to do when I was next in London, and it was a convenient way of doing it.
Q. So this covered the sort of issues you were telling us about just before lunch?
A. Yes it was very much about the telling the story of policing in Northern Ireland, where we'd got to. One of the things that struck me when I went to Northern Ireland was the general lack of interest in matters concerning the province from the national media despite the fact that the threat was increasing at certain times, despite the fact that lots of good and interesting things were going on. It seemed to be very much seen as a problem that was now solved and the media would step back. Indeed many had taken their reporters away from the province altogether which is why it was important to keep the profile of what was going on reasonably high.
Q. Did that generate any stories in the News of the World to your knowledge?
A. No, not to my knowledge.
Q. Your statement in section 31, page 05372, deals with the interface with politicians, which obviously in Northern Ireland will have a particular import, if I can describe it in those terms. And you describe a good high profile example which followed the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll, which I think you did mention before lunch. That was in March 2009, I believe you told us?
A. (Nods head)
Q. The tripartite approach which was obviously to everyone's benefit. Can I ask you please to turn now to question 34, page 05374. The policy is that requests for interviews be recorded and the appropriate officer or member of staff with the right knowledge and training be the person who's put forward as it were for the interview. Does this cover any officer, regardless of rank, provided they can speak with the right authority on a subject?
A. Yes, it was not rank specific, it was giving authority to the officers certainly at the front end, my experience was very much that front line officers explaining what they were doing was a very powerful way of reassuring the public about what was going on in their local communities and there remained huge interest in policing in Northern Ireland. Every town had at least two newspapers, and it was important that message was got across at every level, so it was not rank specific. They were encouraged to speak to the press office certainly if they had time to do so in pre-planned events so they get proper advice and guidance.
Q. You refer to the PSNI's media policy, which we have under our tab 26 or starts at page 05327. I'm not quite sure we have the date for this, but it's certainly during your time. This sets out helpfully the principles which should apply. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think it's probably in August 2007. MR JAY Yes. You've spotted the very fine print. Thank you. Can I just deal with a couple of points. First of all on page 05335, on the internal numbering it's page 6, this has been printed out in a slightly bizarre way because I think it sort of folds over and therefore the pagination goes awry, but I think we can understand how it follows. The top of the page: "Naming/identification of suspects or arrested persons. The Police Service does not name or confirm the identity of suspects or arrested persons." Is it or was it policy that you would give the age and gender of the suspect or would you not even go that far?
A. No, it would certainly be the case that some indication of the nature of the individual arrested would be given if it was appropriate, but the general operating principle in what is accepted to be a difficult area was we wouldn't release that information. Indeed, even if one was looking at road traffic accidents, for example, where the families the victims' families were unwilling to have the person named, we would do our best to respect the victims' families' wishes if it was possible.
Q. Thank you. And positive stories we can see at the bottom of the matching page, the importance of promoting the positive work of the police service staff, and you say: "Journalists do want to hear about unusual, imaginative and pioneering projects." You're referring there presumably to the press in Northern Ireland?
A. Yes. My sense was there was far greater interest in the positive side of policing from local media, and of course because of the level of number of publications in Northern Ireland, and the sheer enthusiasm to get something to fill the pages, there was in my judgment a very positive relationship between local media, local police and the central PSNI press office, and it was a good way of getting our message across.
Q. The last point which arises on this is at 05341, top of the page: "When to contact the press office." On the internal numbering it's page 17 if you have it as a booklet, Sir Hugh. It states this: "The policy is that all contact with the media must be co-ordinated through the Department of Media and Public Relations and, if contacted by media, every member of staff should decline to comment until they have referred the matter to [that department]." So it's quite prescriptive and I suppose proscriptive. What was the thinking behind that?
A. My sense is that sort of perhaps is overprescriptive to the reality of what sometimes happens almost by definition when a front line officer was confronted by a journalist who had responded very quickly to the scene of an event, and I can certainly remember watching matters unfold in my office where officers did a very good immediate response, and then no doubt as the thing escalated, if it did, they would revert to the strategy. So I think that looks slightly more stark than the reality that was reflected in the simple practicalities of dealing with that at an immediate event. But the reason in the routine we make sure the individual had the right support to deliver the right message and it was recorded in keeping with most policies on the database that we have or we had in Northern Ireland like other forces do in the UK. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is rather more than probably happens in the UK, or that which officers have spoken about, because in relation to strategy by all means, but in relation to questions, for example, about local community policing, the sense I've got from a number of your chief constable colleagues is that they'd be very keen to encourage local bobbies on the beat or sergeants in their station to talk about local policing without going through this.
A. Yes, I'd agree with that, sir, and I think that is probably slightly tighter drawn more tightly than my memory albeit of course I signed this my memory of the reality of what went on. Of course we did have media officers based at a regional level, so it wasn't all at head office, the regional and my colleague Matt Baggott is in the room and can update you on the current state of play, he's probably put this right. But in terms of there were regional officers who were readily available to speak to individuals, so I think in the routine, I'm not against a fairly tight policy, but officers as they deal with events need to be competent and confident that they'll be supported by senior management if they do the right thing, because a reporter is there and it's better to engage than disengage. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It looks very defensive if you're asked about a burglary that you know has just taken place, "Sorry, I can't possibly speak to you until I've spoken back to whether it's regional or
A. Yes, I'd agree with that. MR JAY When one looks at paragraph 44.1 of your statement at 05376, it might be implicit in that that the strictures of the section of the policy which we've just looked at couldn't have been followed in practice. You say: "In my view the policies and procedures that were in place work well. It was important that contact and communication with the media was supported without being overly bureaucratic." That's the general message you're seeking to impart to us, isn't it?
A. Indeed.
Q. "It was also very important that subject to the guidelines officers felt empowered to step up and tell our story." Do you have a view more generally about the possible chilling effect of requiring contact with journalists to be recorded?
A. Yes, I do. I think it is inevitable in the short term that it will become journalists may find it more difficult as we become perhaps too defensive as perhaps a slight overreaction to things events that have gone on recently, and I think we need to guard against that and maintain a as I've said, a professional relationship with journalists and be very clear in our mind why we're having a conversation, be it background or more formal. I am not against writing making a note of a meeting with a journalist so there's some paper record. I think in a way it's more I think you're right, sir, I think officers who wish to behave badly will of course not make a note, but that may be the value of officers behaving correctly making one, because it gives a place for an explanation to be required of someone who is perhaps found to be not complying with the policy, but I don't want to I would not want to become overbureaucratic. I think we do have to be confident in our own skins that we can maintain professional relationships with journalists and not impugn our integrity without having to write chapter and verse down of what we do. I think it also in the routine of our working day would stilt a conversation. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think it's very important that the culture is correctly set. I have a very clear recollection of being warned against plasticised pieces of instruction that young officers would require a little truck to carry about because of their complexity and size. But if it's of any assistance to you and your chief constable colleagues, I would be very keen that you did not overcorrect but that you did not minimise the impact of all that you've heard. Finding the correct line is critically important and in the same way that I've said to journalists, editors in relation to the Press Complaints Commission, I say to you and your colleagues you are in the best position to know what will work for the Police Service, and provided you bear in mind that I'm keeping an eye on it, on what I believe is right for the public, and you are aware of that, then I'd be only too pleased to be able to endorse an approach rather than ask you to tear it up and start again.
A. Thank you. That's very helpful and I do think the draft guidelines, if one combines that with the work undertaken by Adrian Lee, a set of principles, I think that's the direction in which we should properly go. It may well be that we are keen to make a short note now as a minimum report writing rather than maximum report writing. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Provided you also make it clear that it is indeed the duty of officers to engage in areas of which they have familiarity. It's not to comment across the piece, but if you are the local neighbourhood PC that's dealing with an area and a local newspaper wants to talk about that area, you are the right person to speak, so it's a question of actually, it's a question of common sense as much as anything else, but it's easy to say that, then different people will differ as to what is common sense.
A. I would agree entirely with that. I think it's exactly the approach my sense is that my chief officer colleagues are keen to promulgate. It is a vital relationship but in a way my experience in Northern Ireland certainly was the most powerful stories were not what I was saying, frankly; it was what the police officer was saying about how he or she had protected his or her community, and that then builds up. MR JAY You mentioned earlier, before our lunch, article 3 of the PSNI code of ethics. The general principle here is safeguard rights to privacy and family life contained in Article 8 of the Convention, maintain the confidentiality of information, then under 3.4, we can see this, the second sentence: "They [police officers] shall comply with Police Service policy governing contact with the media." Which I suppose is in part bringing in Article 10, freedom of speech considerations, but balanced always against the need to maintain the confidentiality of information they receive during the course of an execution of their duty. That's broadly speaking the point, isn't it?
A. Indeed, yes.
Q. Thank you. Your impression, finally, of the culture within the PSNI when you left service in 2009, this is 62.1 of page 05382, well, maybe in your own words now, how would you characterise that and perhaps compare it with what it was in 2002?
A. My sense was it had moved on hugely during that time. We certainly and I think the much of the credit for that firstly goes to Lord Patten's report because it certainly gave us that permission and me the authority to drive the organisation in a certain direction. Also I think a very professional head department of media, and I had three different heads of media, all of whom were extremely competent, I think supported that and gave officers the confidence to speak and be supported as they spoke, but I think the story in a way speaks very much for itself, and I do touch on it here; culturally, for very understandable reasons, officers being identified as police officers in 2002 were still very tricky and therefore understandably many were reticent about speaking to the media. By 2009 it was routine for officers of all ranks to quite happily stand up in front of a camera, be it at a local level or a national level, and deliver the right messages around whatever it was they were dealing with. I think that in a way was a visible exhibition of how confident they now were. And I think all credit certainly to the front line officers who were prepared to do that. At a senior level it was an obligation. I would not appoint someone to be head of the region or head of a district command if they were not prepared to stand up and very much tell the story of policing in their area. That was very much a consideration on, for example, promotion boards, but at the local level officers were prepared to grab the mettle not all of them, but sufficient without question to tell the story.
Q. Finally you say in 62.3, the third line, I'll read this out: "For me the essential principle is that whilst we had an obligation to inform and provide information in the spirit of openness and transparency, we should never allow ourselves to become vulnerable to an allegation that we attempted to improperly shape or distort the story." It may have worked the other way round, that the allegation or perception should never be that the journalist should influence what you were doing?
A. Yes, I would agree with that but I think the point where the line is absolutely drawn, I see it as a positive obligation on the service to inform the media and without question includes background briefings to set the context. What the journalist chooses to write is absolutely their responsibility and I think one must be very careful not to try and shape what they write. Our obligation is to provide the information so they can write a story informed by the service and, of course, anyone else they choose to speak to. MR JAY Thank you very much, Sir Hugh. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Sir Hugh, thank you very much. MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Mr Cattermole. MR OLIVER DAVID CATTERMOLE (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Your full name, please?
A. My name is Oliver David Cattermole.
Q. You provided us with a witness statement which is under our tab 31. It's dated 5 March 2012. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry, Mr Cattermole?
A. It is.
Q. Thank you. In terms of who you are, you're currently Director of Communications at ACPO and you have been since November 2007; is that right?
A. It is.
Q. Before then you had a career in journalism and then as a press officer in government, first of all what was then the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which of course became DEFRA, and then you joined the Home Office as a senior press officer in 2004. May I ask you this general question in terms of being a press officer: you've worked for government, you now work in the police; are there some themes in common which you could help us with or are there any significant differences?
A. I don't I can't think of any significant differences. I think the context of working within the Police Service is perhaps slightly different in that it's one step closer to delivery and further away from policy, which is obviously where government is, but broadly speaking I think the principles are the same.
Q. Although in terms of ACPO, you're pretty close to high policy and strategy, of course ACPO delivers as well, but you're more at that end than on the operational end, aren't you?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. Can I ask you about the team which you lead. You cover this in your statement, but I think the staff is small, there's six of you at the moment; is that right?
A. That's correct.
Q. And your role is obviously to support and provide communications advice to all 340 chief officers who comprise ACPO and the various business groups we heard mention of. There are 14 of those, I understand; is that correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. Can you assist at all, we've heard something about this already, the difference between what ACPO does in terms of national policy in relation to the media and the difference between that and what local forces do? Can you throw any further light on that, please?
A. Yes. I think Chief Constable Trotter described it very well. Local forces deal with the operational policing within their geographic areas. The role of ACPO is to deal with issues that go on above a force level that concern more than one force or concern the Police Service as a whole, and it's in that respect that my team supports police officers in respect of their national roles.
Q. Thank you. To what extent I know you cover this in section 4 does the press office put out information on behalf of ACPO and to what extent are you the means of introducing the journalist to the chief officer who will speak on behalf of ACPO?
A. I think it really depends upon the occasion. I mean chief constables will clearly deal with the local media and sometimes the national media in the context of leading their particular force. Where my office becomes involved is when we are dealing with an issue that concerns the Police Service as a whole, be that a sort of policing operational issue or a matter of crime reduction. It's in that context. Perhaps if the government is producing a new policy on a matter or perhaps there's an incident that takes place which concerns policing in the round, that's when we will be involved. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Or presumably if there is the need for co-ordinated police activity across a number of forces?
A. Yes, that's correct. MR JAY Paragraph 6.1, please, page 11032. You say your impression of the culture with ACPO in relation to dealings with the media is generally a positive one. Leadership tends to set the tone, you say. The tone of those relationships and dealings with the media will vary. It suggests there that dealings with the media are not always positive. Is that a fair understanding of the gist of what you're saying?
A. I think that's correct, yes. I think that there's inevitably a tension in the relationship and that's a product of the fact that the Police Service and the media share different objectives. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. You don't have this problem, because every single one of your constituent members being an ACPO-ranking officer, that is assistant commissioner or commander and above, is likely to have had experience of or exposure to media?
A. Yes. To a differing degree. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, obviously.
A. Yes. MR JAY I think flowing on from your previous answer, 7.2, at the top of page 11033, you say outside the routine you consider the portrayal of ACPO in the media has "on some occasions lacked accuracy and balance". Could you elaborate on that, please?
A. Yes. I think that the President gave you an example of that sort of set of circumstances when he was referring to the coverage of his uniform. I give another example here, I think, which concerns freedom of information, and ACPO has been criticised in the media at times because of the fact that it's not or until relatively recently it did not fall under freedom of information legislation. It does so now, but of course that was something the government needed to do. It was not something that ACPO could voluntarily make itself subject to the legislation.
Q. It was an amendment of the Act itself which brought ACPO within
A. That's correct.
Q. the scope of the freedom of information legislation, thank you. Section 10 now, please, Mr Cattermole. This is the issue of prioritisation. 10.2 you say: "While all sections of media have the same right to information I consider it appropriate and necessary to prioritise between sections of the media on the basis of available resources." Could you tell us something about that, please?
A. Yes. I mean we've already you've already asked me about the size of the team that I lead, which numbers six, and I should clarify that those aren't six press officers, those are six people dealing with communications in the round, so they also deal with the website, they deal with internal communications, any marketing activity, and therefore capacity can be an issue at a time when a big media story is running. The point I'm making there is that while I think that the right of access to information is a general one that applies to national or local media or any form of media, capacity issues will mean that I may have to ask my press officers to take a judgment about how they prioritise their time and energy and, for example, if they are dealing with a national news outlet that is going to reach many thousands of people, then I would expect them to do that perhaps above a news outlet that is likely not to be creating the same sort of impact.
Q. So as a general an example you've given, you would be prioritising national news over local news, but presumably you wouldn't be differentiating between different sections of the national press, would you?
A. No.
Q. One of the by-products, perhaps, of the size of your team, 12.2 of your statement at 11036, journalists being dissatisfied with the provision of information through the press office, the dissatisfaction may manifest itself presumably in the speed at which information is provided to them, and also circumstances where you simply can't provide it for operational or other reasons; is that broadly speaking the position?
A. Broadly speaking that is the position. I mean I think that I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong in saying this, but broadly speaking I think that we are pretty effective and efficient in terms of providing information to the media. The occasions when there is dissatisfaction are more commonly when we are not able to provide a response, some of the reasons I set out in my statement, and perhaps because it might be more properly considered a matter for a local force rather than for ACPO, or perhaps another reason might be where we might decline to offer a view on a particular story because we would not want to stray into politics.
Q. Does your office contain or have access to the sort of software we've heard about where contacts with the media can be logged?
A. Yes, we do have access to that software, the same software in fact the British Transport Police have.
Q. Yes. Do you have a view as to whether recording contact with journalists has a stifling effect or not?
A. My general view is that it need not have a stifling effect, and I think that my office record contact as a matter of routine on the software that you've just mentioned. And I see no reason broadly speaking why that should be an issue.
Q. How long has your office been doing that?
A. I would have to check the exact date for you. I think that would probably be a couple of years since we invested in that product.
Q. Thank you. In terms of hospitality, you explain in 18.1, Mr Cattermole, our page 11039, you have very occasionally accepted a meal or coffee from a journalist in the context of a meeting to discuss work and then you say this is usually over a working lunch. So this would be, what, once every six months or so?
A. It's broadly speaking around I mean, I checked this recently and in the four or so years that I've been in my post, it's about 20 occasions. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, let me understand. Is that 20 occasions when you've had lunch with somebody or 20 occasions when you've actually just gone out for a cup of coffee?
A. It's 20 occasions when that I would categorise under the term hospitality, so that includes coffee or a meal. MR JAY Most of those occasions would probably be coffee, wouldn't they?
A. Yes, I would think so.
Q. So the working lunch is presumably to meet the convenience of everybody, is it, with busy people?
A. Yes, I think it's to meet the convenience of everybody, and it's perhaps just to provide an environment where you can take more time over a more detailed discussion to provide the kind of background that previous witnesses have discussed.
Q. This is the background briefings which we've heard reference to, isn't it?
A. Yes.
Q. A lot of your statement I think we can take as read, Mr Cattermole, because you've answered the questions very clearly and fully. I do have a point on question 33, page 11044. You're fairly clear about this, that leaks aren't a problem for your press office, at least during your time; is that right?
A. That's correct.
Q. May this be to do with the size of the office and the nature of ACPO's work or do you think there are any other reasons for that?
A. I'd like to think that it's down to the professionalism of my team. I think that the size of the team is a factor, probably in that it would be it might perhaps be easier to tell if any of that practice went on. I mean, I think that generally speaking where leaks have been a factor for ACPO, as I described in my statement, it's more generally been very difficult to tell where that information may have come from and that's I think in part a product of being an organisation that's distributed across the country and therefore information is shared with a wide variety of people.
Q. You make a comment or observation under question 42, which is 11047, where you say you'd like to see media organisations exercise more judgment about the way in which they employ police officers and staff who have left the service. What you're referring to there, on my interpretation of your evidence, is police officers who provide so-called expert assistance to newspapers and comment on high profile murder investigation or whatever, is that what you're driving at?
A. That is what I'm driving at, yes. I think that in general terms where a police officer or an ex-police officer is commenting on a story and adding analysis, then that can be a good thing if it is contributing to the public's understanding of a particular issue. I suppose where I have concerns is that if that arrangement where a particular individual is providing analysis on a regular basis, you know, as part of the contractual arrangement, perhaps, then it might be quite difficult for that person then to decline to provide that analysis, even if it's a topic they've been invited to comment on, on which they may in fact not have a great deal of knowledge. A couple of examples came to mind where, for example, in the case of the Raoul Moat incident in Northumberland, it would be wrong to single out particular individuals but there were a number of comment pieces, some of them contributed doubtless by ex-police officers, which criticised the force for the amount of time it took to successfully carry out the manhunt that it did, and I think the point was made to me by senior police officers that an understanding of the geography during which that policing operation took place would have made it clear that carrying out that manhunt was no easy task.
Q. So it's a plea, really, for greater attention to detail in the commentator, because you wouldn't wish, no doubt, to interfere with the right of free speech of the newspaper or the person commenting within it, is that the position? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's not a free speech issue, it's a professionalism issue, isn't it? That if you're going to enter the public domain on a topic, you should know what you're talking about. Is that it?
A. That's exactly is, yes. MR JAY Thank you. Can I deal with HMIC and Elizabeth Filkin. You cover this quite generally in your evidence starting at 45, page 11048. Are there any particular messages you wish to impart to us on those two reports?
A. I think in terms of Elizabeth Filkin's report, I thought it was a bit of a shame, really, that the attention seemed to focus mainly on the practical guidance that Elizabeth Filkin attempted to offer and some of the more general points that she made about the importance of openness and a free flow of information between the police and the media didn't perhaps receive the attention that they deserved. I think my position is that within our policing model based upon consent that communications is an absolutely critical part of policing and I think she drew that out very well in her report.
Q. So you're inviting us not to focus excessively on the last three or four pages of her report, to view it as a piece?
A. I think so, yes.
Q. Yes. I think you're generally supportive, reading your statement, of the HMIC report of December 2011; have I correctly understood that?
A. Yes, I was generally supportive of it, and I think the issues around the public's expectation of what policies the Police Service should apply to these matters is right in that that report identifies very clearly that the public would expect consistency in the form of national standards. The difficulty or the tension, if you like, is that which has been described by Sir Hugh in terms of the emphasis on devolving decision-making to a local level, which is a quite prominent theme in policing at present, and therefore it's getting the balance right between local interpretation and local policies and national framework is sometimes difficult. MR JAY Thank you very much, Mr Cattermole. Those are all the questions I have for you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Cattermole, thank you very much indeed. MS BOON Sir, I wonder if now might be a convenient moment for a break and we could resume in five minutes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON If that's what you'd like, by all means. Five minutes. (2.43 (A short break) MS BOON Sir the next witnesses this afternoon are Chief Constable Matthew Baggott and Liz Young. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed. MR MATTHEW DAVID BAGGOTT (sworn) MS ELIZABETH YOUNG (affirmed) Questions by MS BOON MS BOON Mr Baggott, first of all, please give your full name in. MR BAGGOTT I am Matthew David Baggott.
Q. You've provided a witness statement to the Inquiry. The copy I have is dated 20 January 2011 which I believe is an error. Should that be 2012? MR BAGGOTT 2012. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It would have been quite remarkable if it was 2011. MS BOON Indeed. Do you confirm the contents of that witness statement are true? MR BAGGOTT I do.
Q. Does it comprise your formal evidence to the Inquiry? MR BAGGOTT It does.
Q. You are Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland?
A. That's correct.
Q. You served with the Metropolitan Police Service between 1977 and 1998 and you then served with the West Midlands Police between 1998 and 2002, where you held the ranks of Assistant Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable? MR BAGGOTT That's correct.
Q. As Deputy Chief Constable, you had particular responsibility for, among other things, professional standards, including corruption and press and public affairs? MR BAGGOTT Yes, that's right.
Q. You were Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary between 2002 and 2009, and during that time you were commissioned to lead the review of policing on behalf of the Home Secretary? MR BAGGOTT That's correct.
Q. Also known as the Sir Ronnie Flanagan review? MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. In 2009 you were appointed Chief Constable of the PSNI? MR BAGGOTT That's right.
Q. Please give us an idea of the size of your force, how many officers and employees you have? MR BAGGOTT We have now around 7,200 police officers and around 2,000 support staff, with associate staff as well, so it's just under 10,000 strong.
Q. Thank you. Ms Young, please give your full name. MS YOUNG Liz Young.
Q. You've also provided a witness statement to the Inquiry, dated 28 February 2012? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. And do you confirm the contents of that statement are true? MS YOUNG I do.
Q. And it's your formal evidence to the Inquiry? MS YOUNG It is.
Q. Since 2008, Ms Young, you've been Head of Corporate Communications? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. Between 2005 and 2008 you were Head of Corporate Communications for NI Water; is that correct? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. You explain in your statement that the press office sits within the PSNI corporate communications department. How large is that department? MS YOUNG In total we have 26 and a half staff. 15 of those work either within the headquarters press desk or within district in a press function.
Q. At question 2 of your statement, page 10304, you state that the PSNI press office has responsibility for facilitating all media requests, provides a comprehensive, efficient and effective new service for the organisation and one of its key objectives is to build confidence amongst stakeholders and the wider community in relation to the services you provide; is that right? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. In your role, in your position, you have very little day-to-day dealings with the press desk, but you have three meetings a week with the media centre manager, where any media issues are considered? MS YOUNG Yes, the press desk is managed by a press centre manager. I sit on the senior executive team where we meet on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I brief in my team after those meetings of anything that has potential to be in the media or anything that we need to be aware of operationally and to take action proactively.
Q. And you report to the Deputy Chief Constable? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. Mr Baggott, at question 40 of your statement, page 55403, you say: "In general we have very strong and positive relationships with the media, and recent survey data would indicate a general satisfaction of the service provided. However, the media will always want more information and more direct contact with operational officers and staff." I want to ask you about that survey. I believe, Ms Young, you're better placed to deal with that. What was the purpose of that survey and what information did you seek? MS YOUNG Well, like most other police services, we were going through a period of having to reduce staff, we were looking at effectiveness within the department and we used our internal process, improvement, you know, to actually come into the department and look at the key functions. As part of that review, we asked our key customers, which were both internal, as in the organisation, and the media, a series of questions in relation to the service that we provided, our opening hours, accessibility out of hours, and that was really to define the levels of service that were both acceptable to the media and to the organisation as well. The feedback from that was extremely positive, apart from the fact of reduced opening hours, but it was also a two-way opportunity to explain to them that the data that we had didn't support the need to have people actually physically sitting within the office during the hours that they wanted, so it was a two-way discussion with them as well and an opportunity to explain our position. We also meet with the media, the deputy head of department and myself, once or twice a year, just for a discussion around any issues that they have, the service that we provide to them. It is a very open and transparent relationship, we're there to provide a service to them and we need to ensure that we get it right and that's one of our key responsibilities is managing that service as best we can.
Q. When you say you meet with the media, do you meet with all with representatives of all titles at the same time or is it more that you will visit different offices to speak to people? MS YOUNG In the review meetings we will meet with them in a one to one with each of the titles or with each of the broadcast outlets and the reason being they may very well want to raise issues that are specific to themselves or specific to maybe anything that any of their reporters or journalists have experienced and want to discuss it in depth, so I think it is right that we meet them on an individual basis so that the opportunity is there for a frank and honest and open conversation.
Q. Where do you hold the meetings? MS YOUNG Either they will come into the office and have discussions just in the office and on a number of occasions we have met them either at their offices and those are in the formal meetings. We will sometimes have meetings where they'll ask to have a conversation with us about an issue that has arisen and that could sometimes be over a cup of coffee.
Q. Right, but not generally lunch or dinner meetings, I believe, from what you said? MS YOUNG No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Just slow down a bit, please. Thank you. MS BOON Mr Baggott, at question 49 of your statement at page 55406, you state that you believe that the relationship between PSNI and the media is "responsible and mature". Why do you say that? MR BAGGOTT In the meetings I've had myself with editors and the contact I have, the feedback is always very positive. I'm very anxious that the media should have access to the right people in the organisation at the right time, whether that's a constable dealing with a particular neighbourhood issue right through to a senior investigating officer doing a press conference after an incident, it's important that they have access to the right people. The feedback is very positive and I'm very, very pleased with the relationship and how it's developed before I arrived but also since I arrived in 2009.
Q. How would you characterise the nature and quality of your own relationship personally with the media? As opposed to the force as a whole? MR BAGGOTT I think I would characterise it as very professional and very amicable. I am available for the media when it is the right level. We conduct numerous press conferences with them as a result of briefings on security or policing plans, but I would describe it as professional, if not but not so personal.
Q. Yes. Ms Young, you make the comment at question 29 of your statement, page 10317, that the national media are not interested in future relationships as such, and at times may act in an unprofessional way if they do not get access to the officers that they think that they should. Can you develop this for us, what you mean by unprofessional? MS YOUNG I suppose the way I would best describe it is sometimes whenever they come in to deal with a situation or when they come in to Northern Ireland to report on a situation, it's usually of a critical nature. An example of that would be when one of our colleagues was murdered. They will come in and they are quite demanding in relation to access either to the family, to people that might know that person, and they're not aware of the sensitivities and the complexities around giving access to them that maybe they would have had before and I think sometimes that was quite difficult and particularly where there's a particularly sensitive issue that's very emotive as well.
Q. But the local media will have a better understanding of those sensitivities? MS YOUNG The local media do have a very good understanding of the security situation in Northern Ireland as well, which sometimes can create difficulties, and they have been reporting on it for many years through many difficult times, so they are much more sensitive to having to maybe abide by some conditions that we would place on them. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I wonder whether that could be explained in this way: the local media want to foster and develop a continuing relationship with you the better to understand what you're doing, and, if necessary, criticise it, but the better to inform their readers who, of course, live in the MS YOUNG Area. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON area. Whereas the nationals come in when there's an issue, are only interested in the issue, they're not interested in the context, they're interested in the story, and therefore don't take the time to develop the relationships. Is that an appropriate way to characterise it? MS YOUNG I think that is very fair to characterise it, and I think one of the difficulties as well, there are such sensitivities around a lot of things, and Northern Ireland and the history of Northern Ireland, that sometimes just actually using a word in the wrong context, a phrase in the wrong way, can actually be translated in a very, very different way than it's really meant, and the difference is the local media are aware of all of those difficulties, whereas the national media aren't aware, and even to give them briefings, you're starting in a very different place as far as giving them background, and they take much more handling than local media. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So what you may be saying and I'd be very interested in Mr Baggott's view about this because he has the experience of different forces, and Leicestershire actually has a resonance with another part of the Inquiry which I'd not really thought about until just now obviously Northern Ireland provides a whole different dimension. I recognise that. But does that merely paint in brighter colours what is the difference between local and national media throughout the UK? It's brighter in Northern Ireland because of the very tensions and history of which you've spoken, but that's the issue? MS YOUNG (Nods head). LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That really identifies the difference in the rest of the UK? MR BAGGOTT I think that's correct, sir. I think the local media in Northern Ireland have an absolute commitment to the future of the province. They have a stake in it and they are part of the confidence-building and they have ownership of the issues. They also understand the consequences. The consequences of the way it's reported, the consequences of the style it's reported and the consequences of creating a sound bite without developing the context. I think that's the difference. The national media will come in and will report on a story for one day, sometimes for the headline, sometimes because it's a matter of national interest, but go away. A local media will have to live with the consequence of their reporting, and they are very much bought into the future of peace-building. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is my attempt to explain the difference between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK right or does it not hit the right type of analysis? MR BAGGOTT I think there are real parallels, sir. I think the issue, as my colleague has said, is the sensitivities in Northern Ireland to a single word, take it out of context, how it can be interpreted. So I think it's very, very important that when you look at issues I give an example. When I first took over in 2009 I spoke about the border and how the border in time, working with our colleagues the An Garda Siochana, was a way of tackling organised crime. We spoke about the border and joint investigations but the word "border" itself had a symbolic meaning and then we spent a week of some degree of political difficulty trying to explain again in terms of what we meant in terms of not disrespecting the jurisdictions of the north and the south. So you can easily fall into consequences inadvertently by doing something that is honourable and good without understanding the history and the sensitivities. I think that parallel probably applies across the whole of the UK, but it is particularly difficult and complex in Northern Ireland. MS BOON I'd like to explore the extent to which individual PSNI officers have direct contact with the media. Mr Jay earlier this afternoon was asking your predecessor Sir Hugh Orde about the policy, which he described as more prescriptive perhaps than the reality. If I could take you to the media guide that's currently in force, that's at tab 4 of the bundle in front of you. I'll go to page 55232 on our numbering. It's the page that's after your introduction, if you have that. Halfway down the page. It's the paragraph that begins: "With increased devolution MR BAGGOTT Could you just give me the reference again?
Q. It's 55232. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Behind divider 4, there's an enormous number in the bottom right-hand corner. MR BAGGOTT Thank you. MS BOON So the fifth paragraph down. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. I begin reading from the fourth line: "Individual officers or staff of all ranks should not brief the media without clearance. Approval should be sought from the media and the public relations department who will consider and advise on the wider implications of commenting or making a statement. The department will provide lines to be taken on corporate issues." If I continue reading under "Media policy", second paragraph under that heading: "Officers intending to brief the media at the scene of an operation or incident should always ensure that the press office is informed prior to the briefing. The department will make every effort to provide a press officer to manage the media at the scene. All contacts with the media concerning any policy, whether operational or management, the administration of justice, issues of a controversial nature and intelligence matters must be co-ordinated through the press office." Over the page, just three more paragraphs I wanted to read out before I LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Okay. We're going to need to break it down, because they cover quite different issues. MS BOON Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Carry on reading and then we'll come back to it. MS BOON I hope I'll cover those issues, sir. "Police officers or support staff intending to write letters and articles should seek approval from their head of department and the media and public relations department. Press officers can advise on style, tone and timing and help ensure that letters are published. "If contacted by media, every member of staff should decline to comment until they refer the matter to their line manager or the media and public relations department. All such contact must be reported to the department for logging centrally. "Failure to comply will be a serious matter and will be seen as a crucial issue of professional integrity and may be a breach of the code of conduct and code of ethics." Mr Baggott, the reason I've read out all of those paragraphs in one is that by reading this guide, one gets the sense that an officer absolutely must not speak to a member of the press without getting permission first, and if they don't do that, that could be a disciplinary matter. Is that what you intend to convey in your policy? MR BAGGOTT I think the fact that we've moved from a policy very much into a guide is a sign of where we're going in relation to being more relaxed about contact with the media. Some of our work we've done on providing media experts to each of our districts is again a sign that we are in a different place in relation to our relationship with the media, and indeed are exploring with officers how they use social media in a very effective way. So things are moving ahead very fast in the way in which we are structured and the outlook. I think there are probably three considerations for me which this tries to cover, and I do think the guide needs to be rewritten, probably to make it more relaxed and less stark in terms of its message. I think that's where we are. But the areas I think for me uniquely in Northern Ireland are firstly I'm looking for care to be taken by officers in relation to the security situation. We still have sadly today the relentless targeting of officers, the exploitation of anything in the media or social media for that targeting, and although we're in a different place, it is very real, the threat that faces officers. In 2010, over 170 attacks. So this is a security situation which is very unique and I think if you relax too fast, too quickly, you end up in a difficult place. I think the second issue for me is one of consistency. I'm quite anxious that we do provide the right consistent standard to the media, but also that colleagues are very much aware of some of the politics they may be getting into, and the idea of this is simply to make sure that they seek advice and have that support, whilst understanding there are consequences if information is provided in a cavalier or a way that is not compliant with our code of ethics. I think the other issue, which is one of the other side of the coin for me, is one of culture. We have been through ten years of the most superb transformation through Patten and the leadership of my colleague, Sir Hugh. The consequence of that in some areas has been risk aversion and I think the idea that you almost instill in people an expectation of seeking advice to provide the media and ourselves with the best support is a positive counterbalance to risk aversion. I want colleagues, whether it's constables right through to the chief constable, being relaxed in speaking to the media in the right way in the appropriate circumstances.
Q. So you don't see a difficulty with junior officers speaking directly to the media? MR BAGGOTT I don't.
Q. Within the limitations that you've set out and your concerns? MR BAGGOTT I don't. I think storytelling is a very powerful way of expressing change and also the integrity of the organisation and the values that we stand for.
Q. The reason I ask that specific question is that at paragraph 27 of your statement, or under question 27, you say: "All contact with the media should be channelled through the corporate communications department. Senior officers and staff may engage directly with the media on an ad hoc basis, but do so in a responsible manner when appropriate and when there's an immediate need to do so." So you don't there cover the position for junior officers? MR BAGGOTT No. I think we're getting more professional as time goes by, and more adept at dealing with local concerns, but the transition from a security-driven policing style to one of a greater neighbourhood involvement, over 700 more officers in neighbourhoods in the last year, is a significant transformation, and I think that needs to be managed and controlled rather than just evolved in a fairly cavalier way. I'm very much aware that this guidance as it reads is probably too stark, but I want to take some degree of corporate grip to make sure we inadvertently don't create more problems than we're trying to resolve. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It goes back to the question I asked you before, and I ought to say, and I'll say it now, that I'm extremely grateful to both of you for coming from Northern Ireland to help me with this and for the work that you've put into preparing the material which you've advanced to me. But again there are features about the Northern Ireland experience which it may be right to consider are different. MR BAGGOTT Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That an extra element of caution may be appropriate in Northern Ireland because of the history, because of the risk of targeting or whatever, which, back in Leicestershire, would not have been necessary. Would that be fair? MR BAGGOTT I think that's very fair, sir. We are moving ahead apace with policing with the community, with neighbourhood policing, but we are still confronting a multifaceted deadly terrorist threat day in, day out. So I think we have to exercise great caution in how we support our police officers in their contact with the media, the degree to which they can feel comfortable about giving information and the sort of information, without restricting them in dealing with the routine, which is the good storytelling of some fantastic work that's being done at this current time. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Let me say now, in case I forget to write it, anything I say in general should be read subject to that element in Northern Ireland, and you should not assume, if I don't say it, that I don't intend that you should take whatever I say into the mix, but in the context of your particular circumstances. MR BAGGOTT That's very kind, sir, thank you. MS BOON I've asked you about the policy relating to talking directly to the media. Perhaps, Ms Young, you in your statement encapsulate the practice and the practice perhaps that Mr Baggott is happy with. That's under question 10, page 10308. You say, Ms Young: "In general, all contact with the media should be co-ordinated via the press office. However, on occasions officers will talk directly to the media, ie at a crime scene, at a community meeting. Officers are not restricted from speaking directly to the media, but we would ask that they advise the desk of all contact and content of discussion and must comply with the PSNI media policy." There's a requirement there or an expectation that the content of discussion is communicated to you. What level of content generally do you receive? Is it a gist of a conversation, is it a verbatim record? What's the general practice? MS YOUNG I think in general where the officer or whoever has been speaking to the media has been speaking just generally about the incident they're dealing with, so if we say are at a crime scene, and something has happened and the officer has given details actually around what has actually happened, the officer would say, "I've just told them that we're dealing with it and X, Y and Z." However, then where the difficulties arise is where maybe a reporter will say, "Is this because you haven't got the right level of resources or is it because of the security threat here that you've had to it's taken you so long to respond?" and things like that. That is where the dangers then start to come in, where they could be drawn very much into straying into an area where it's more strategic and giving a view as opposed to actually knowing what the true situation is. So that is where I mean the officers themselves that are dealing with the media are very good at phoning you, letting you know they've had the conversation and giving you the detail, but they'll also be aware of where they've maybe given a comment that might not have been just in relation to the incident that they're dealing with, and may cause further queries from the media. So we generally have the good relationship with the officers and it's not that they're afraid to say, "I've maybe said something that I shouldn't" and you don't hear about it. They are very open in saying, "I have said this, maybe you need to be aware of it."
Q. Is the practice that officers will telephone your department to convey what's been said and that your press office will make a note at your end? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. Rather than you having an expectation that the officer will record for him or herself the content of the conversation? MS YOUNG That's correct. And I think the expectation is the officer that's on the ground is dealing with an incident on the ground. Having to record details of conversations is not productive to them getting on with an investigation or what they have to deal with.
Q. So you're not dealing with a complaint that there's a burdensome, overly bureaucratic requirement on them because it's a question of making the telephone call to you? MS YOUNG Yes, that's as simple as that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That assumes also that they're dealing with an incident. If it's a local neighbourhood constable who is simply being asked about what's happening about anti-social behaviour on this estate or that road or this particular noise problem, and that's actually his beat, then you'd expect him to deal with it MS YOUNG And not even advise us, no. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And not advise you? MS YOUNG No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's a matter of judgment as to when it hits the position that actually this is significant, and that's the point I interrupted Ms Boon on in connection with reading out the policy: "All contacts with the media concerning any policy, the administration of justice, issues of controversial nature and intelligence must be co-ordinated through the press office." That's strategic. MS YOUNG Absolutely. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And requires careful and sensitive handling, so actually you don't want constables or sergeants or probably even inspectors jumping into that particular swimming pool. MS YOUNG That's right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You need that to be co-ordinated at a rather higher level? MS YOUNG Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I've got it. MS BOON Mr Baggott, while still on the topic of recording contact, under question 24 in your statement, page 55395, you set out there: "All formal meetings between PSNI personnel and the media are organised and staffed by members of the corporate communications team. Timing of meetings and details of those present are recorded in the PSNI corporate communications departmental diary and are logged on the PSNI press desk database, known as Solcara. PSNI personnel should make a record of any informal engagements." What are you referring to there, that last sentence? MR BAGGOTT I think it's probably meetings that are unplanned, where there may be contact with the media, where there's a request made or an event where something actually happens where there's a specific request for information. Again it's not meant to be bureaucratic, but I don't think there's anything wrong in ensuring some degree of corporacy, that people understand the seriousness and the professionalism required of dealing with the media.
Q. Does that apply to all personnel, not just senior officers or meetings arranged by the corporate communications team? MR BAGGOTT At this moment it applies to all personnel, but I think, as I come back to my original point earlier, we need to have a look again at some of this guidance to make sure that it's reflecting the right level of interest. The previous question, very clearly at policy level, matters of controversy, one would expect there to be a note, probably a more fulsome note, than in relation to a day-to-day contact with a beat officer with a local newspaper. I'm more relaxed about that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MS BOON Moving on to the question of hospitality, Mr Baggott first. You've accepted no hospitality from the media so far during your tenure as Chief Constable of the PSNI. MR BAGGOTT That's correct.
Q. On two occasions you've provided dinner to media representatives. There was one occasion I believe that was in November 2009, shortly after your appointment? MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. And that was a dinner with select print and broadcast media to introduce you to the media, provide an opportunity for you to outline your key priorities. That's taken from Ms Young's statement as well. I understand that you're referring to the same two dinners. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. The way you describe it: to give the representatives a greater understanding of your strategic priorities and main challenges faced by the organisation. Then there was a second one in December 2011? MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. Which you describe as: to enable a reflection on what had been delivered over the previous two years, to provide context to major decision-making and to outline the main strategic priorities for the coming year. Who was invited to those two meals? MR BAGGOTT A cross-section from the across the media of prominent reporters who would have a consistency and a continuity in Northern Ireland. So they had a history before I arrived and they were very well established and it was an opportunity for me to speak to them about the ambitions of the PSNI, how far we'd come, the progress, and particularly what I'd describe as the era after the Patten reforms, of having to move more into a long-term planning situation.
Q. Do I take it from the fact that you referred only to these two particular dinners that there haven't been occasions where you've met, say, one title in a smaller group, perhaps an editor and a crime reporter? It's always been, has it, or the only two occasions have been where you've represented a cross-section of the media? MR BAGGOTT That's right, except for obviously press conferences in relation to historical reports or critical incidents or launching of policing plans, where all the media will be represented. Or in relation to conversations I might have when there is a preplanned media event, for example doing some one-to-ones for the BBC or UTV in relation to again some of the security situation issues or the events which have taken place in Northern Ireland.
Q. I might have missed a key part out of my question. What I was referring to was where you've provided hospitality, whether you've MR BAGGOTT I haven't provided hospitality other than those two occasions.
Q. What is your own view of the ethics of receiving hospitality from the media and providing hospitality to the media? MR BAGGOTT I think it should be for a purpose. I think it should be controlled, and I think it should be consistent. And I think that's what our own media policy sets out, and our gifts and hospitality policy, which is very clear in terms of the boundaries and the recording of that. I am very anxious to have at all times a very relaxed relationship and amicable relationship, but a professional one with the media, but I think that requires a degree of corporate standard and understanding throughout the organisation. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do you think there's a difference, therefore, between an event where you've reached a milestone and you think it's worthwhile sharing that, and possibly you provide something to eat, because that's how you're going to organise a relaxed event, and routine small gatherings which aren't focused around that sort of specific strategy? MR BAGGOTT Yes, I do. I think, sir, there is it's important in being the head of such a big organisation that editors and prominent media representatives have an opportunity to get to know me as a human being and as a person, but also to see the whites of my eyes in terms of me explaining where the PSNI is going, the dilemmas, some of the challenges that we face, and also some of the achievements. I think that's an obligation on me as a leader. But I think that can be done in a very controlled and a consistent way, which gives the media insight into the leadership and the thinking and the progress without compromising the fairness in relation to the way we deal with all the media as entities in Northern Ireland, not wish to show any favouritism to one outlet or another, and I think there's a danger of doing that if you move into the small groups. That's not to say in my responsibilities as a civic leader as well I don't come across the media all the time. There will probably be an opportunity this Friday when something is launched in Northern Ireland which is a big, big event. I will meet the media there and we might have some conversations but they won't be around the big issues affecting the PSNI, they will simply be on a personal level, probably I would describe it as small talk around how are you, rather than the issues affecting the PSNI corporately. MS BOON Ms Young, you've not been offered any hospitality by the media in your current role? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. And the provision of hospitality, the two occasions you set out in your statement are the two dinners that Mr Baggott's already outlined? MS YOUNG Yes, that's correct, and there was one other event in my statement as well, a summer event that we had
Q. Yes. MS YOUNG the media all together in an informal setting.
Q. Your own view that you express in your statement is that officers and staff should accept no hospitality other than coffee, lunch or dinner in a formal working capacity; is that right? MS YOUNG Yes, that is my belief.
Q. I would imagine there's a limit to that, that if the dinners became a regular occurrence, you would have some concerns? MS YOUNG Absolutely I would have.
Q. Mr Baggott, you refer to the hospitality policy. In contrast to other policies this Inquiry has seen, there is quite a lot of detail about what can and can't be accepted. If I take you to that and highlight a few sections, it's tab 6, I believe. The first page I would like to take you to is marked 55312 at the bottom of the page. Paragraph 3, "When a gift or gratuity may be accepted and must be recorded": "The following are examples of gifts or gratuities that may be accepted. These examples are not exhaustive. The overriding principle should be that acceptance is reasonable and justifiable. Acceptance must be approved and recorded in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 of this procedure and guidance. "1. A token gift may be accepted if it is presented by an organisation, for example a visiting police force, a plaque from a council, a framed certificate or picture from an organisation." That's an example of guidance on gifts. At paragraph 4, if I may, "When gifts may be accepted and do not require to be recorded": "This policy is not intended to prohibit the acceptance of refreshment where payment would not normally be expected, for example a cup of tea offered by a householder or at a work-related meeting. Also the acceptance of trophies and plaques by PSNI sports teams, small items which are given to attendees at a conference or training courses, such as pens, folders or diaries. Small items would be considered to be those that are worth less than ?10. Gifts provided from colleagues on transfer, promotion or retirement. The policy does not intend to restrict or record internal gifts between staff, for example at Christmas." So there are examples there including a financial limit for the gifts, small items? MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. "When a gift or gratuity must not be accepted: "In the following circumstances gifts and gratuities will not be accepted. If acceptance results only in personal benefit, ie there is no organisational benefit, individuals must justify how acceptance of any gift or gratuity benefits the organisation and these reasons must be entered into the gifts, gratuities and hospitality register." Over the page, just two more sections to refer you to: "Hospitality and invitations to events." Paragraph 7, "When hospitality may be accepted": "There are a number of situations when hospitality may be accepted. "(a) a working lunch of modest standard in the course of visits or meetings so the parties can continue to discuss business relating to the aims of the PSNI. "(b) participation in an official capacity or as a representative of the service, for example speaking at a conference on behalf of the PSNI or furthering community relations. This may include attendance at evening functions but only if the work element is significant. If the function is mainly for pleasure, attendance cannot be for free. "(c) sporting events where it is considered appropriate for the PSNI to be represented. "(d) attendance at a charity event should not be free unless the recipient is invited as a valued dignitary, for example part of the attraction of the event. PSNI staff are advised to pay as part of the contribution to the charity." I won't read out (e) or (f). "When hospitality must not be accepted. There are a number of situations when hospitality must not be accepted." I'll just read out the first one: "Offers of free accommodation, holidays, travel, weekend breaks, free invitations to sporting occasions and entertainment where there is no organisational benefit. Staff should take particular care when an offer is from an organisation that supplies or has the potential to supply goods or services to the PSNI." As you said, there's quite a lot of guidance. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. Not just what you can accept but what you can't. This is a reasonably new policy; is that right? MR BAGGOTT It's an updated policy.
Q. Right. Is this a policy that is under review or will be reviewed? MR BAGGOTT I think it would be inevitable we will review all the relevant policies on the back of LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is this new? It looks as though it dates from August 2009, but to be reviewed August 2010. MR BAGGOTT I think it has been reviewed. I can check on that and come back to you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. If there's another version. Could you just tell me, could you give me an example of a sporting event where it is considered appropriate for the PSNI to be represented? MR BAGGOTT Yes, certainly. Croke Park, a Gaelic Athletic Association Game, which is seen very much as part of the future in Northern Ireland, the confidence building. It is both a civic event but also one which becomes hugely symbolic in relation to the Police Service being attendees at that game. There are a number of sporting events which are about the peace-building and the bringing of people together. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand. Thank you. MS BOON Ms Young, on a related question, you express confidence in your witness statement that your staff understand the boundaries of an appropriate relationship with the media. What in your view are those boundaries that you train your staff to adhere to? MS YOUNG The boundaries are that they act at all times on a professional basis. Any meeting they have with a reporter or journalist is on a professional basis for business discussions and I don't believe that there is any scope for socialising without any business reason with the media.
Q. No scope at all? MS YOUNG No.
Q. So if a member of your staff if you became aware that a member of your staff were developing a friendship with a member of the media, what action would you take? MS YOUNG I would expect them first of all to declare that they were having a friendship with the media. At the end of the day you can't restrict it totally but you would certainly want to be advised of it and the capacity of that relationship, but Northern Ireland is a very small place and inevitably people through social circles will interact with the media and you have to be mindful of that, but it should be open and transparent.
Q. I see. I move on to the topic of off-the-record conversations or briefings. Ms Young, first of all, what does "off the record" mean to you in this context? MS YOUNG "Off the record" to me means that it is contextual briefing, providing more information and information that cannot be discussed with anybody outside of the meeting or broadcast or put in print in any way. We would use off-the-record briefings and I'm not that keen in using "off the record" because I think the connotations around that phrase are not particularly good we would use it to clarify situations, to provide journalists with some more background so that whenever they are reporting, they can do so in a more balanced way, and again a lot of it is around sensitivity and making sure that sometimes the media don't jump to conclusions and report down one path that could have big implications, even from a security or political nature, and often we will have to have the briefings giving them the information that we actually hold, and sometimes explaining why we can't make that public at that particular time.
Q. Does that explain why you express the view that it's critical that that form of contact takes place where appropriate? MS YOUNG Absolutely.
Q. In your statement you give a number of examples, practical examples, of where you've used off-the-record briefings. One was relating to a rumour that the Chief Constable I don't know whether that was Mr Baggott or Sir Hugh Orde in fact, I think you arrived after Sir Hugh Orde had left MS YOUNG No, actually I was there for one year while he was there.
Q. One of the examples you give of providing off-the-record briefings was to deal with rumours that the Chief Constable was unhappy in his post and wanted to return to England. Do you want to develop that example and how effective that was? MS YOUNG The rumour had circulated for quite a few weeks and a number of different media outlets had spoken to me to say that they were picking up this rumour. Also, one of the media outlets had told me where they had picked the rumour up from, so I was aware of the background to where it was being generated, which was actually internally. I knew the reasons why, and whenever Mr Baggott took up a post, he immediately started the process of reorganising, I suppose, the workforce to ensure that we had more officers out from behind desks onto the front line, and as you can imagine, that wasn't possible in certain quarters. At the end of the day it was the Sunday papers that actually contacted me to say that they were going to run this story, and I spoke to them to say, "Listen, I need to give you the context of the story, I know where it's coming from, this is the reason." Unfortunately in that case how the Sunday papers actually got round it was they ran the story to say that they had solved the myth about the rumour after speaking to the head of corporate communications, and went on then to explain what I had said, and one way it brought it out into the open and ended the rumour, so it was effective, but not the way that I'd anticipated that it would be. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It demonstrates the need for the story. MS YOUNG Absolutely. MS BOON Apart from that instance, I think you say in your statement that the media honour the basis on which you provide that information when you say that it's off the record? MS YOUNG The media do honour it and again I think it is building on what the chief had said about the strength of the relationship. It's a long-term relationship. They are very aware that if we ask them to hold back on something, that there is a very good reason for doing so and we will give them the reason why we've asked them to hold back. We will also commit to ensuring that we will go back to them with the information if the timing is right and it's appropriate and we can do so, and we also advise them that if we get enquiries from any other media outlets that we will let them know as well. So I think it's just a fair relationship and when they know that we stand by our word, then they will do the same with us as well.
Q. Indeed. Under question 45 you say that the media do comply with requests not to publish or broadcast material when asked and then you give a series of examples, one of which I was going to ask you to tell us a little more about, and that is when there are incidents of serious crime where the community have named individuals they suspect of being involved in the crimes. Is that a question of you letting the media know that their information is wrong? MS YOUNG I think probably an example of that was in this last month we had a murder in Belfast of a young guy and he was very well-known within the criminal world and rumours started very, very quickly about who was potentially behind that, who was involved in it, was this going to result in a feud, what the motives behind it were. The media had also picked up from their local contacts names, possibly names of who had ordered the hit and was it organised or whatever, and in that particular case we had to have a chat with the media outlet to say there's actually a number of lines of inquiry that are being pursued at the present moment and it would not be helpful to continue to speculate who might be behind it because we need people to come forward with information and we need to leave this as open as possible. So that will give you an example of sometimes when we have to speak to them and ask them to watch what way they're reporting and assist us with an investigation as well.
Q. And generally you receive the response that you're seeking? MS YOUNG Yes, we do.
Q. Or invariably? MS YOUNG No, I would say again with the local daily media and the broadcast the daily print and the broadcast, they will comply with what we've asked them, because we do explain the reasons. And they do know that if we've asked them, it is for justifiable reasons. We have more difficulties with the Sunday papers, who sometimes don't even give us the opportunity to ask them to hold back, and they will run on rumour at times, which causes difficulties for us.
Q. So they will publish the article and then you have to contact them and try to undo the damage if you can? MS YOUNG That's right.
Q. I won't ask you to elaborate on this, but you do make the point that there have been occasions where the media have recognised that there's a risk in publishing some information and have voluntarily not published that information? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. And you say that they've done that in the interests of justice. Is that to prevent prejudice to a criminal trial, that sort of thing? MS YOUNG Absolutely, or there's a number of reasons why they will know the sensitivities around a particular case or individual or circumstances, and that it's dangerous to report on it at that particular time.
Q. Mr Baggott, before I move on is there anything you want to add about off-the-record conversations? MR BAGGOTT I would share the view of my colleagues. I'm not so sure firstly that "off the record" is a helpful phrase. I think what we should talk about is "confidential briefings" which are on the record in relation to a note being kept of the reason why it's being kept and the purpose. But there are, as my colleague has said, sometimes very good reasons, again particularly in relation to the security situation in Northern Ireland, of stopping speculation. There are examples where I'll give one example of social media where an alleged child abduction had taken place. A wrong name was out there very quickly, spread very quickly to social media, and in Northern Ireland with the existence of paramilitary groups who will target individuals because of their alleged sex offending or antisocial behaviour, that is also an issue for us of human rights compliance in terms of the protection of life, so there are very good reasons sometimes where we would want to do something to stop a particular story running or to put the record straight, without necessarily pre-empting a live investigation. So I think there is something for me about confidential briefings for a very clear purpose, either in terms of investigation, public confidence, but I think they would be the exception rather than the rule, and they would certainly be for a purpose and they would certainly be recorded.
Q. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could I take you away from Northern Ireland for a moment, because it's on this very point that I'd be very grateful for your help, and I'm sorry if you've not received notice of this, because it's only when I noticed Leicestershire that it came back to me. MR BAGGOTT Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I heard evidence from a gentleman called Jerry Lawton, who spoke about part of the McCann inquiry, and I won't talk about what he was responsible for publishing, that's another matter entirely, but he raised a criticism, or I'm going to call it a concern, that the Portuguese police were leaking information about the results of their DNA work through the UK, which implicated or was said to implicate the Drs McCann with the hire car you'll know the point. MR BAGGOTT (Nods head). LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And it later of course transpired the results didn't prove that at all. He was saying the Leicestershire police knew perfectly well that the results didn't demonstrate that and therefore, really, this was an ideal opportunity off the record, unattributably, to say, "Don't go there. This rumour, this leak, if it is a leak, simply is not right." Now, it's a unique situation which will probably never happen again, and I'm very conscious that it won't necessarily help me in resolving the issues I have to resolve, I recognise that, but given that you're here, I have been concerned that the Leicestershire police haven't had the chance to answer that. MR BAGGOTT Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON If you can, I'd be interested. If you say, "I think I should but I'd like to go back and think about it first", I'm very comfortable for you to do whatever you think is best. MR BAGGOTT Thank you, sir, for the opportunity to answer that. I do acknowledge, as you say, the uniqueness of that very difficult and sensitive and ongoing inquiry, and in relation to some of the difficulties faced by the press in dealing with a foreign jurisdiction. But as a chief constable at the time, there were a number of I think very serious considerations. One for me, and the Gold Group who were running the investigation, which was a UK effort, was very much a respect for the primacy of the Portuguese investigation. We were not in the lead in relation to their investigative strategy. We were merely dealing with enquiries at the request of the Portuguese and managing the very real issues of the local dimension of media handling, so we were not in control of the detail or the facts or where that was going. I think the second issue was there was an issue, if I recall, of Portuguese law. Their own judicial secrecy laws. I think it would have been utterly wrong to have somehow in an off the record way have breached what was a very clear legal requirement upon the Portuguese themselves. There were two issues for me which really focused around the integrity of their investigation and maintained the integrity of our response. There was also an issue for us of maintaining a very positive relationship with the Portuguese authorities themselves. I think this was an unprecedented inquiry in relation to Portugal. The media interest, their own reaction to that. And having a very positive relationship of confidence with the Portuguese authorities I think was a precursor to eventually and hopefully one day successfully resolving what happened to that poor child. So the relationship of trust and confidence would have been undermined if we had gone off the record in some way or tried to put the record straight, contrary to the way in which the Portuguese law was configured and their own leadership of that. We wanted to focus the media away from the speculation and the unfairness of that and into the search for Madeleine. So there was a number of complex things running at the same time, but even with the benefit of hindsight, sir, I'm still convinced we did the right thing and I think integrity and confidence, particularly with the Portuguese, featured very highly in our decision-making at that time. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. I wanted to give you MR BAGGOTT Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON now I'd made the link, the chance to deal with it. MR BAGGOTT Thank you. MS BOON Mr Baggott I would like to take you back to what you say in your statement about the McCann investigation but just before I do, if I can ask you about the question of leaks. You say in your statement that you take unauthorised disclosures of information very seriously. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. You identify it as a strategic threat, you say in your statement, but leaks are not something you consider are a major problem in terms of scale or scope. MR BAGGOTT Yes, in relation to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, yes.
Q. You state under question 31 that the anti-corruption unit conducts periodic defensive operations proactively seeking evidence of any inappropriate contact with members of the media. Are those operations intelligence-led or are some purely speculative? MR BAGGOTT No, they would be intelligence-led.
Q. Under question 32, you point out that there have been five investigations conducted into suspected leaks in the last five years. Only two of those were suspected leaks to the media specifically. One, an officer sending a text message to a journalist providing his opinion of the anticipated level of disorder in a forthcoming operation. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. That officer faced a misconduct panel and was fined. And also an officer, the second case, provided unauthorised briefings to the press following an incident and he received a written warning. MR BAGGOTT (Nods head).
Q. One of those five investigations is still ongoing; is that right? MR BAGGOTT That's right.
Q. Is there anything you want to add to that summary of the position as you see it? MR BAGGOTT No, thank you.
Q. Ms Young, you state that your department monitors public information to ensure that it's in line with what's been officially released and that you then report issues of concern to the Professional Standards Department? MS YOUNG That's correct.
Q. At question 37 you give your view on what you consider might be the driving forces behind leaks, that's page 10320. You highlight that many are more likely to be inadvertent than malicious, that a driving force can be where a disgruntled employee is unhappy about something within the organisation, wants to speak about it, and in other cases it might be loose talk with friends, family, social contacts, and those people might pass on information to the media themselves. MS YOUNG Yes, I do believe that any information that does find its way into the media is for a number of reasons, which I've outlined. I don't believe that we have an issue in any way of any of our officers or staff being bribed or paid for any information. I think anything is volunteered and volunteered for all of the reasons that I've outlined. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Some better than others. MS YOUNG Absolutely. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But none terribly desirable. MS YOUNG That's correct. MS BOON Ms Young, what systems do you have in place to ensure that your department can't be accused of favouring one of the three main titles in Northern Ireland over the others? Is there anything specifically you do to ensure an even-handed approach? When I say that, to access to information and access to senior officers? MS YOUNG I would describe it as we have a number of ways of releasing information out to the media. One of them is a news line where we put recorded updates, and that news line is accessed by all media outlets, so whenever it's updated, all of the media outlets have the same information at the same time. We also email out all press releases out to all newsrooms in all outlets as well. If we're doing any media facility, in response to a major incident, a critical incident or something of public confidence, all of the media are invited at the same time. We do have, as the chief has already said, a number of one-to-one briefings with media outlets and that does depend on a number of factors. One of the factors being if one particular news outlet has got a story or has a background of a story and they come and ask, "Can we have some more information on it, more background", we will not open that out to other media outlets because we don't believe that's fair. They all have their chance to come and they all have the same access if they request it, and that's one way of ensuring it's fair. So those are the ways that we would try and ensure there's a fairness right across the media. Where there's difficulties and sensitivities and maybe we've had a huge demand for access to an officer in relation to a particular story that may be sensitive, on occasions we will actually pull that and say, right, okay, this time round we're going to give it to one outlet but here's the conditions, that that particular interview is released by a time so that they all have it at the same time and can do whatever they want to do with it, and again we make sure that we share out that responsibility on an even basis. All of the
Q. Can I just remind you just to slow down a little bit. MS YOUNG Sorry.
Q. Not at all, I'm guilty of it myself, but it's so the shorthand writer can take a full note. MS YOUNG But we do log all of our briefings onto the Spotlight Solcara system, which can be looked at, and again, I mean the media know themselves that it is an even basis. They would be the very first to pick up if they thought one was getting unfair treatment.
Q. You would know about it if that were the perception? MS YOUNG I would know very quickly.
Q. I said that I would return to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Mr Baggott. You deal with this at question 50 of your statement. That's at page 55407. There are two paragraphs I believe you've already covered, setting out that it was a Portuguese-led inquiry. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. And a decision was made at an early stage that you would comply, or the police in this country would comply with the requirements of Portuguese law, including the Judicial Secrecy Act. MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. Over the page on 55408, internal numbering 24, third paragraph down: "Due to the vast quantity of local, national and international media that descended on the village of Rothley, Leicestershire, where the McCann family live, a large policing operation had to take place to ensure that villagers were able to go about their daily business. We did have complaints from local residents about the media's behaviour." I wanted to ask you what those complaints entailed, what they were about? MR BAGGOTT I think there was a variety of complaint around disruption to daily life, which was caused by a large international media descending for the long term and the disruption that caused to people's business. Secondly, if I recall, the intrusiveness of asking residents about their thoughts and what had happened, and a degree of speculation. So it was not only a physical presence and the requirement of having to preserve people's quality of life, but on the other hand the media in going and asking questions.
Q. You wrote a letter to editors that's at tab 10 of our bundle, 55383. Amongst who was this circulated, this letter? MR BAGGOTT If I recall, this went to all the prominent editors. I can provide, I'm sure, a written record of who it went to, if you should so choose. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Don't we need to go to the next one first, because it's chronologically first in time? MS BOON It is, sir, that's quite right. The first one is page 55384, tab 11. MR BAGGOTT Thank you.
Q. "Since the beginning of May 2007 my force, Leicestershire Constabulary, has had the responsibility for co-ordinating the UK law enforcement response to Madeleine McCann's disappearance. As the Chief Constable I have become increasingly concerned regarding the continued speculation and rumour surrounding this investigation, hence this exceptional request of you. "I would be most grateful if you could ensure restraint in reporting on the case while the Portuguese authorities complete their inquiries and conclude their judicial processes. Over recent weeks I have been surprised at the reporting of some alleged facts that, as far as I am aware, bear little relation to the evidence. I am deeply concerned at the implications that this may have for all involved. "Recent reports have quoted anonymous Leicestershire police sources. I am confident that the very few officers who know the detail of the inquiry have not and will not divulge confidential detail to the media, nor do they brief others who have provided specialist assistance or who have a legitimate interest in the inquiry. "I know you will appreciate that the implications of Portuguese judicial secrecy mean that we are not in a position to release information, brief the press on the investigation's progress, or confirm or deny any specifics relating to the case. "At the heart of this inquiry is an innocent little girl who went missing on 3 May. Our focus remains on doing everything in our power to assist the judicial police and the Portuguese authorities to find out what has happened to Madeleine." I won't read out the letter on 8 October, but that's a repeat of that request, is it? MR BAGGOTT Yes.
Q. What response, if any, or reaction did you get to those letters? MR BAGGOTT If I recall, there was one complaint made to the Press Complaints Commission, which resulted in a noting of the file, but the speculation did continue in spite of the first letter, and then I felt obliged to write the second letter, again appealing to the better nature of the media and to understand the complexity of this situation. So I think the fact that I wrote two letters is indicative of itself of the concerns of the UK effort to try and find Madeleine. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Ms Boon's question was what reaction did you get to these letters? MS BOON Yes. MR BAGGOTT Not hugely positive, because the speculation continued. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And you say you filed a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Would Leicestershire have that, both the complaint and their response? MR BAGGOTT I think we could provide it, sir. I shall make inquiries if that's what you wish. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I would like to see how the Press Complaints Commission dealt in writing with the complaint you made, if that's not inconvenient. MR BAGGOTT Certainly, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS BOON I have been asked by a core participant to ask you whether you felt that you had the necessary tools to prevent or at least object to the misreporting in the press about Madeleine's disappearance and Leicestershire police's involvement. MR BAGGOTT I think there could have been a greater voice or a greater authority to explain the boundaries of what that press reporting should have been. The difficulty I think there is with this is it involves a European dimension as well as a national one, in which case but I think there could be some stronger guidelines and consequences. That said, without going into the detail, I am aware that there were civil proceedings taken in the following months, which by themselves exercised a degree of constraint and control over the reporting. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. The problem is: is that good enough? Because it may be that the Drs McCann can recover damages, but to such extent as damage has been done, the damage has been done. MR BAGGOTT I think in this particular case, sir, the speculation, if it had been a UK court, may well have undermined the fairness of subsequent proceedings against whoever was charged with that offence, and secondly, it certainly hindered the inquiries to find and trace Madeleine simply because of the reaction that came from the media speculation. MS BOON I've also been asked by a core participant to ask you about the confidentiality agreement that you asked officers to sign. Do you feel that the signing of the confidentiality agreement added anything, because of course the people who were working for the investigation were already bound by a duty of confidence? MR BAGGOTT The confidentiality agreement, just to give context, was something that was put together by the Gold Group who were running the inquiry as part of the UK effort, not by myself as chief constable.
Q. Right. MR BAGGOTT But my opinion would be it was a very good and a very clear way of asserting the seriousness of confidentiality, and also would give some degree of lever over the individual's behaviour and point out the consequences should they subsequently breach it, which I think would fit certainly today within the code of ethics. Also there were other measures taken, which was the security of the investigative team itself and where information was actually held and who had that securely. So it wasn't just the confidentiality agreement by itself, it was other defensive measures to make sure that information was used wisely and only in the appropriate way. But I do think the confidentiality agreement is in unique and exceptional circumstances a good way of making sure that the seriousness of the correct use of information is understood, but also there is a consequence should an individual decide to leak it subsequently.
Q. That's a way of focusing the officers' mind on the confidentiality MR BAGGOTT I think that's right.
Q. the particular sensitivity, their particular obligation. The obligation applies always, but to remind them in that instance how important it is? MR BAGGOTT It certainly is going the extra mile and I think it was a good thing to do. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's not just how important it is, because it always is, but it also applies notwithstanding this is not a UK investigation. MR BAGGOTT Yes. MS BOON Yes. Would there be any lessons learned from your experience dealing with that investigation that you would wish to share with the inquiry or have you covered everything that you wanted to say about it? MR BAGGOTT I think the inquiry is ongoing. I think probably the lesson to be learnt is probably a greater understanding of the complexity and consequences of speculation and loose reporting of facts. And I think that's a serious issue for the press to consider, because in the PSNI I have an obligation under the Human Rights Act across the whole course of the human rights. I don't think some of this speculation was either necessary, it clearly wasn't on the boundaries of legality in relation to the subsequent proceedings. It certainly wasn't practical and it certainly wasn't proportionate. I think sometimes there is a useful human rights template to apply to how the press use information. In this particular case, I think a greater understanding of consequence would have been appropriate.
Q. Looking to the future now, Mr Baggott, first of all, do you have any suggestions for how we preserve the good, the full, frank and effective communication between the police and the media but at the same time maintaining a sufficient degree of oversight, avoiding the use of the world control, but oversight to ensure that relationships are appropriate? MR BAGGOTT I think there is some very good practice which has been developed across the UK. I think the issue now is one of consistency to make sure that the same standards apply everywhere. I think there are some very good reports in relation to the HMIC already produced and Elizabeth Filkin's work, which provide some very good templates for us to reconsider our current policy, our national consistency, against that. I think the balance has to be between giving local colleagues the ability to storytell with the right ethical guidance and support, which is entirely appropriate in relation to confidence building, whilst making sure that the very real issues of the inappropriate misuse of information, whether that's for personal gain or simply through gossip, still remains under tight control. I think our relationships with the media probably need to be reasserted in terms of what the man or woman in the street would think, and that for me is about professionalism and contact for a purpose, and maybe we need to readjust that. The personal side I spoke about opening statement, I think it should be amicable and it should be very friendly, but it should always be professional and for a purpose.
Q. Ms Young, in your statement you place an emphasis on the need for the application of professional judgment and you would have concerns about any rigidity that prevented the exercise of judgment in that way. Is there anything else that you would like to add or any suggestions you might have on this? MS YOUNG I think one. I'd just add on to what the chief has said. I mean, this Inquiry, the reviews that have already gone on have indicated above anything else that even though there is a set of guidelines, which is the ACPO guidelines that most of us following, it is following them loosely and there's not the consistency of application, and I think that is difficult both from the public perception and our own people, and also the media as well, so I think there is definitely learnings is to be learned from everything that has been discussed over these last few months, and we do need a set of consistent guidelines, but we also need, I think, more consistent internal communication, certainly within our own organisation in relation to exactly what the guidelines are, what the flexibility is, what we expect, what's the purpose of them, I think, and an understanding of the purpose, why the guidelines are there, which is not to control and to restrict, but actually to give some sort of security and comfort, both around the individual and also the organisation as well. I think the whole area of social media is going to cause big challenges for us as well. That's an area that the guidelines don't cover and again that is very much open to risk to the organisation and individuals, and it's an area that I think we need to have appropriate standards around as well, in relation, in particular, to what we're using them for and how do we use them in a professional way, that benefits the organisation and the public as well. MS BOON Thank you. Is there anything either of you would like to add? MR BAGGOTT No, thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. I'm conscious we were going to deal with the McCanns, but it was Jerry Lawton who I remembered. Thank you very much and I repeat my thanks for being prepared to travel from Northern Ireland to help me. Thank you. MR BAGGOTT Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right. MS BOON Sir, may I just add that the Inquiry proposes to read in a number of statements and submissions. I hope you've had a copy of that. Those have been provided to the Inquiry and their publication has been agreed with the core participants. They'll be made available on the Inquiry's website in the next few days. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Read them in. Read it out. MS BOON There's the witness statement of David Seymour, the letter from Herbert Smith in relation to the witness statement of David Seymour, the second witness statement of Ian Hislop, the witness statement of Julian Assange and exhibits, the witness statement of Stephen Purdew, the witness statement of Professor Thomas Gibbons, the University of Manchester and exhibits, the witness statement of Peter Gold, the witness statement of Peter Bradley and exhibits, the second witness statement of John Yates, the witness statement of Alexander Tribick, the witness statement of Martin Clarke, the witness statement of Sir Paul Stephenson LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's a further witness statement from him. MS BOON It is, it's the second or yes, certainly a further witness statement. And the following are submissions, sir, from Trans Media Watch, from Carnegie Trust, from the NUJ on press regulation, a letter from Eaves, Equality Now, EVAW, Object. The following are all submissions: from Dr David Levy of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, the Samaritans, the Chartered Institute of Journalists, the Refugee Council, Professor Gavin Phillipson, the Durham Law School, University of Durham, Professor Maire Messenger Davies, University of Ulster, Inclusion London, National Council for Training of Journalists and exhibits, Dr David Golding, Newcastle University, Professionals Against Child Abuse and exhibits, Newspaper Society, Wish, Press Gazette and exhibit, Regulatory Best Practice Group, European Policy Forum, Schillings, Youth Media Agency, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Media Wise Trust, the British Psychological Society and the Press Council of Ireland and Press Ombudsman, Ireland. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. I asked you to read it out because I'd like to take the opportunity to recognise the contribution that a large number of people have been prepared to make to the Inquiry, and the value which I attach to the work that they have put in to their views. Time inevitably means that not all can be examined or need to be examined orally, but nobody should feel their contribution is less valued because they don't have the unenviable experience of having to give it in person. Thank you very much indeed. Tomorrow morning, 10 o'clock. (4.13 pm)


Gave a statement at the hearing on 28 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 26 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 28 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 1 pieces of evidence
Gave statements at the hearings on 28 March 2012 (AM) and 28 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 6 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 28 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 1 pieces of evidence


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