"Ship shape and Bristol fashion" It used to be a phrase that meant "all correct". However, that phrase couldn't be applied to the actions of the Avon and Somerset constabulary right now. They have made what I regard as a huge PR mistake by banning ITV News from a press conference today about the Joanna Yates murder case.
The ban comes in the wake of a report on ITV News at Ten last night which Avon and Somerset police took exception to. The report, by Geraint Vincent, raised questions about whether the police followed proper procedure in the investigation. A former murder squad detective was quoted as saying the police were failing to conduct "certain routine inquiries", such as carefully examining the murder scene for fresh evidence.
"We have made a complaint to Ofcom in respect of the unfair, naive and irresponsible reporting on the ITN 10 o'clock news yesterday evening," Avon & Somerset constabulary said in a statement.
The police need media co-operation, especially in a difficult case like this. Withdrawing access to national reporters because they don't like the way the news is reported is a foolish thing to do, in my opinion. The focus should be on the investigation, not the nuances of a news report. They need to get their priorities back in order, and bring ITV news reporters back into the briefings as soon as possible.