Comms 'imperative' to frontline policing - CIPR responds to Priti Patel MP

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has defended the importance of public sector communications after the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP described public engagement roles in the police force as "unnecessary" and "a waste of tax payers' money".

Public relations and communications professionals in the police force play an invaluable role in frontline services. Their work directly supports victims of crime and is particularly crucial for locating offenders. Public engagement - including social media communication - ensures citizens are kept aware and informed of public safety measures. 

It was for this reason that the CIPR was approached by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - part of MI5 - earlier this year to deliver best practice guidance for communications professionals employed by organisations vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Emma Leech Found.Chart.PR FCIPR, CIPR President
The Home Secretary's comments are naïve and ill considered. They do a disservice to the excellent work undertaken by communications professionals in the police force. Their work keeps us safe. We should recognise their contribution and appreciate the impact they have on enabling and delivering frontline services. The comments are particularly disappointing given the Home Secretary's background in public relations. More than most, she should be aware of the importance of professional communications. 
Emma Leech Found.Chart.PR FCIPR, CIPR President

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).