Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Police procedure and the press.

For those members of the police force unlucky enough to have to talk to the press after any sort of incident without the aid of a qualified press officer below are the steps you should follow.

1. Denial - The police had nothing to do with the incident...; there's no CCTV footage available. Denial is the first tool of any officer dealing with the media; if anything about the incident has yet to be confirmed assume it didn't happen or doesn't exist.

2a. Justify - It has only just come to light that...; operating on the best of information. If something you have denied as part of step one is subsequently proved incorrect never admit you got it wrong.

2b. Blame - Tough job in difficult times...; suspect was acting suspiciously. In order to prevent anyone examining your justifications attempt to apportion blame elsewhere. Any victims, random passers-by, unpopular groups, the media, or even society itself can all be used in this way.

3. Shut-up. If you've passed the point of justification and blame the best course of action is to keep your mouth shut and wait for the media to get bored.

Keep these steps in mind whenever you have to deal with the media and you'll find it's never your head on the chopping block.