Minutes of a meeting of the Association of Police Communicators
Tuesday 14 February 2017 at 1015, City of London Police, Guildhall
1) Persons Present
- Liz Aelberry, Northumbria
- Emma Beer, Police Federation
- David Bailey, Staffordshire (Vice Chair)
- Steve Ball, National Crime Agency
- Maeve Chappell, Thames Valley Police
- Amanda Coleman, GMP Chair
- Sarah Cooper, Cambridgeshire
- Tanya Croft, Devon and Cornwall
- Anna Devries, MPS
- Sam Edwards, Pol Fed
- Nicola Growcott, NPCC
- Jacqui Hanson, Op Hydrant (Secretary)
- Andrew Hickley, Norfolk and Suffolk
- Amanda Hirst, Avon and Somerset
- Suzanne Hughes, Humberside
- Jo Hunt, West Midlands
- Claire Ingram, Thames Valley Police (Vice Chair)
- Julie Jones, Hampshire
- Teresa La Thangue, City of London Police
- Jonathan Leach, Derbyshire
- Karen Noble, Kent
- Katie Perkin, Sussex
- Maria Porter, Kent
- Rhianne Pope, BTP
- Kate Quilley, Warwickshire
- Jane Stevens, South Wales
- Donna Veasey, Essex
- Andrew Walker, Police Scotland
- Jenny Walker, NPAS
- Louise Wallice, Nottinghamshire
- Liz Young, PSNI
2) Apologies for Absence
- Rachel Anstee, NABIS
- Dan Barton, West Midlands
- Tony Diggins, Lincolnshire Treasurer
- Carrie Goodwin, South Yorkshire Police
- Catherine Feast, Police Federation
- Jason Lavan, College of Policing
- Emma Northcote, Dyfed Powys
- Allison Potter-Drake, BTP
- Ruth Shulver, Surrey
- Ed Stearns, MPS (Vice Chair)
3) Minutes of the Last Meeting (October 2016)
TC – One amendment – Item 13 – Any Other Business. Otherwise approved as an accurate record.
Actions – All actions closed, or pending as agenda items for update.
4) Chair’s Update (Amanda Coleman)
Conference 2016 – Feedback had been extremely positive, and planning had started for Conference 2017. Anyone wishing to take an active part in planning and delivering this year’s conference should speak with a member of the executive committee. The executive are also keen to hear members’ ideas for the format and content of this year’s event.
Professional Development – Members would shortly be consulted on their preferences for professional development during the course of the new financial year. Feedback was important to ensure the focus of APComm’s resources in developing opportunities, reflected fully members’ needs.
CIPR – The Chair was actively encouraging the executive team to participate in professional development via CIPR / PRCA. Members were reminded of the opportunities available via APComm to accrue professional development points.
APComm Website – Work has been ongoing led by Claire Ingram in developing a new look website which will better meet members’ needs. The new website should be available shortly. Members will be kept updated via the monthly APComm Bulletin.
Elections – 2017 is APComm election year, and members were asked to consider standing for post on the executive committee. The role requires attendance at national meetings, as well as representing APComm on other platforms, and therefore requires endorsement at senior officer level within force. It also requires some significant commitment from the post holder in their own time. Elections will be launched in November 2017, with the new post holders taking up the role in January 2018.
5) Treasurer and Membership Report (Jacqui Hanson)
JH updated in the absence of the Treasurer and Membership Secretary.
The current balance was healthy (document attached), and had provided for four sessions of Media Law Training across the country, and two sessions of Resilience Training.
The new membership year had launched, with fees starting to come in. 2017 would be the first year which saw every UK force as APComm members.
Forces were asked to ensure that membership fees were directed to the Membership Secretary following the directions on the renewal notice.
Members Directory – Following a re-alignment within NPCC, there was no longer a resource available to compile the Force Communications Directory. This would now be compiled by APComm at the start of each membership year, and made available to members. A template would be sent to all forces to complete. This should be returned to the Secretary. An honorarium would then be paid for someone to collate, chase, and compile the final product.
6) Professional Development (Jacqui Hanson)
Media Law and Resilience Training
Sessions were taking place through January until the end of March. Media Law sessions were hosted by Nottinghamshire, PSNI, Gwent, and Wiltshire. Resilience Training sessions were hosted by GMP and Avon and Somerset.
Feedback from the sessions which had taken place so far had been extremely positive.
Provisional dates had been set for 1 – 3 November 2017 at the Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, Lincs.
NOTE TO MEMBERS – Since the meeting, it has transpired that the proposed dates clash with the NPCC / APCC Conference. They have therefore been amended and the APComm Conference 2017 is now scheduled for 22 – 24 November. Same venue.
Any ideas for format or content should be sent to the secretary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Communications Workshop (JH)
It was intended to hold a Head of Communications workshop– the provisional preferred date would be prior to a forthcoming national meeting to reduce abstraction and travel costs, and to provide the opportunity for informal networking during the evening.
Attendees were consulted on the format and content. The workshop would be open to Heads of Communications only. This would allow candid and open discussion around shared issues. Chatham house rules would apply.
Ruth Shulver (coordinating) would welcome ideas on what members would like to feature on the Workshop agenda. Initial suggestions include more for less (budget and resource challenges); effectiveness (how are we measuring this?); technology (are we making the most of what is available?); people management; personal resilience; leading through change; and what can we learn from those who come to the role from outside policing and offer objective eyes to established practice?
Ideas for content and format to email@example.com
7) Citizen Journalism and Citizens in Policing
The item proposer had not attended the meeting, so the items were pended from discussion for a future meeting.
8) National Portfolio Support
RS was unable to attend the meeting, so JH read a proposal from her regarding discussion around opportunities for forces to gain experience of supporting a national policing lead in managing the communications elements of their portfolio.
NG outlined the role and remit of NPCC communications in supporting portfolio leads, and undertook to liaise with RS regarding her proposal.
9) The Consent Collective (CI on behalf of RS)
CI outlined a national meeting coordinated by Surrey and hosted by NPCC, which sought to explore the proposals of Dr Nina Burrows to develop communications activity designed to lead to long term behavioural change in the spheres of vulnerability, particularly sexual offences and child sexual abuse.
While those present at the exploratory meeting had acknowledged the innovative approach of Dr Burrows which moved away from traditional linear awareness raising campaigns, there was concern around ensuring that the service maintained a coordinated and cohesive approach in deciding whether to embrace and develop the options outlined, in full or in part. There was also a cost implication.
Surrey would continue to monitor developments via the strategic lead, and update those forces who had expressed interest. RS would also explore the option of a one day training session delivered by Dr Burrows.
10) Discovery Project – Engaging with Children and Young People (Claire Ingram)
CI outlined a project due to commence shortly and led by CC Olivia Pinkney from Hampshire. The Project would explore engagement with children and young people. Contact will be made by members of the project with forces to explore their aims for engagement with this audience.
11) Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (Jacqui Hanson)
The meeting was joined by Bernadette Caffarey and Camilla Clarke, from the communications team at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The purpose was to outline the work of the IICSA, and its relevance to forces.
BC outlined the three strands of the IICSA – the Research Project, the Truth Project, and the Public Hearings. All three elements are likely to impact on the police service. The key purpose of the IICSA is to examine potential institutional failings towards victims of child sexual abuse.
JH outlined the role of Operation Hydrant as the conduit between the IICSA and UK police forces. All enquiries and engagement with the IICSA and their comms team, should come through Operation Hydrant. Protocols and MOUs had been developed to govern business processes such as requests for information, and disclosure. Due to overlap in messaging and target audiences, Operation Hydrant and the IICSA communications leads were working to ensure visibility of the various work strands of each.
There were a number of questions from those present – responses below:
Structure and format of the public hearings – These would be live streamed with a built- in delay to allow for contingency. The onus was for material presented as evidence to be disclosed if requested into the public domain. Transcripts would be available at half day and end of day of each day’s proceedings. Seating would be available for the public and the media, but demand was anticipated to be high – forces should consult with Op Hydrant comms lead if seating was required for comms teams. An overflow annexe with TV screens showing proceedings would be available, with media and the public obliged to move to this area when sex abuse victims gave an account if anonymity had been requested.
Stakeholder engagement – Updates and information would be shared with forces via the Operation Hydrant comms team.
A programme of workstreams and key dates going forward was available via the IICSA website. A brief timetable of forthcoming comms activity is attached with the papers, together with a Powerpoint outlining the work and remit of the IICSA.
The meeting concluded at 1150.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 20 April in London (venue to be confirmed) commencing at 1015.