APComm Minutes 6 July 2016

Minutes of a Meeting of the Association of Police Communicators

Wednesday 6 July 2016 at 1015 hours

City of London Police HQ, Guildhall


Persons Present


Name Force  
Dan Barton West Mids
Kim Brierley Gloucestershire
Nick Cloke Dorset
Amanda Coleman GMP Chair
Colin Connolly Hertfordshire
Sarah Cooper Cambridgeshire
Sam Edwards Police Federation
Catherine Feast Police Federation
Carrie Goodwin SYP
Jacqui Hanson Op Hydrant, NPCC Secretary
Andrew Hickley Norfolk / Suffolk
Amanda Hirst Avon and Somerset
Claire Ingram TVP Vice Chair
Rob James Nottinghamshire
Teresa La Thangue City of London
Jonathan Leach Derbyshire
David Old Bedfordshire
Katie Perkin Sussex
Allison Potter-Drake BTP
Lucy Sheehan Norfolk / Suffolk
Ruth Shulver Surrey
  • Apologies for Absence


Martin Bollers Cheshire
Donna Dawber Merseyside
Tony Diggins Lincs Treasurer / Membership
Paula Jenkins West Mercia
Emma Northcote Dyfed-Powys
Tanya Croft Devon / Cornwall
Louise Wood NYP


Minutes of the last meeting (12 April 2016)
Approved as a true record by those present.

Matters Arising



Action 1: 260116 – David Bailey to undertake alternative benchmarking work to capture how Forces are communicating to various audience groups top deliver core police communications business.

No update at the meeting.

Update 25/07/16 – Survey compiled and will be circulated with the minutes.

Action 1: 12/04/16 – Chair to liaise with Nicola Growcott (NPCC) and Jason Lavan (C of P) to refresh and recirculate the Terms of Reference capturing the distinct purposes and areas of overlap, of the three bodies in progressing and developing police communications.

Action ongoing.

Action 2: 12/04/16    Chair to circulate a survey to members to capture learning and innovative practice in relation to recruitment and retention options, collate, and share with members.

Forming part of the Chair’s update / agenda item. Closed.

Action 3: 12/04/16 – Members to email the chair with their top three requirements for professional development communications training by Friday 13 May.


Action 4: 12/04/16 – Members to contact Ruth Shulver with suggestions to create opportunities for enhanced networking during the evening at conference.

Update – No suggestions received. Exec Conference Planning group will determine evening arrangements. Closed.

Action 5: 12/04/16 – Anyone with the knowledge and skills willing to lead in the area of content production to contact Ruth Shulver.

No responses received. Closed. Chair to undertake enquiries to identify suitable professional lead.



Chair’s Report
College APP – In conjunction with the College, the Chair had challenged and clarified news and specialist media reporting around elements of the APP, which was currently in the process of consultation.

Research and analysis – An opportunity had arisen for a PHD student to undertake research which encompassed communications in policing, alongside communications supporting the financial sector. The work would have governance and structure, forming part of the student’s PHD, with clear outcomes. It would be free of charge, requiring only the time and support of Heads of Profession. The Chair had yet to see the proposed survey in detail, but sought the initial views of members regarding the proposal.

Members agreed this would be a worthwhile and cost efficient venture, and the Chair undertook to progress and provide an update to members.

Professional development – Feedback from members on their requirements following a survey undertaken by the Chair suggested:

A desire for continued training in Media Law, at both beginners, refresher, and advanced.
Action 1: 06/07/16 – Secretary to source quotes, and circulate options for sessions to members.

Training in content production.
This would be progressed via a free to members training session at the start of Conference 2016. Details are on the APComm website. Ruth Shulver leading.

Resilience and wellbeing.
Action 2: 06/07/16 – Chair to source quotes from service providers and progress.

CT / Major Incident training
Details of sessions will be made available via the APComm website and circulated to members. Ed Stearns and Alastair Campbell leading. It was recognised that there was a variation among Forces in the frequency and content of such training.

PRCA –The chair outlined an opportunity to take part in the PRCA CPD scheme with APComm training accredited towards the scheme. All agreed that the Chair would liaise with the PRCA to take this forward.

Treasurer / Membership Update
JH reported in the absence of the Treasurer who was absent through ill health.

All Forces with the exception of Kent had renewed, or were in the process of renewing, membership.

The accounts were healthy with a balance of £18,225.


Improving Communications with Members – APComm Website.
Claire Ingram had circulated a Review Paper prior to the meeting to facilitate discussion. The Paper included proposals to refresh and re-energise the APComm website, to further benefit and promote contact with and between members. The contents of the paper were discussed.

It was recognised that the website was open access – the requirement for a password protected section to allow exchange of views and material was agreed. The password should be generic to the service, and not customised to individual members to ensure ease of access.

It was anticipated that the recommendations within the paper would be implemented by November, providing the opportunity to launch and profile the revamped website at Conference 2016.

The proposals in the Recommendations Paper were agreed.

Action 3: 06/07/16 – Claire Ingram to progress proposals in the Website Review paper, and pull together a small sub-group to assist if required, with a view to launch by the beginning of November 2016.

Local Government Toolkit
A discussion paper had been circulated by Ruth Shulver prior to the meeting. The paper proposed enhanced joined up working and visibility on campaigns across the government network.

Subject to the correct APComm logo being inserted, typos amended, and the wording on page 22 amended as discussed, the Discussion Paper was approved in principle.

The position of the Government Communications Service was raised. GCS was not currently a member, but there was openness towards shared attendance at training courses. However, the need for policing to be independent of government was re-affirmed.

Conference 2016
ES outlined the Conference Agenda.

Registration for Conference 2016 opened on 11 July, and can be done via the website. Members are advised to book early as the past two years have been fully subscribed, with overflow hotels having to be sought to accommodate late bookers.

Updates to previous agenda discussions:

A session on websites would be included, to incorporate news and content, service provision, and contact issues. CC of Leicestershire to be approached as lead for Police ICT company to assist in discussions around a tri-partite web structure. Case studies, followed by a panel discussion was the preferred format.
PCCs – Case studies, to include Lincs profiling joint communications and how that works; crisis handling led by Avon and Somerset. A panel, led by Dan Barton (metropolitan Force) and including Jonathan Leach (smaller Force) would follow.
Sponsors – Tony Diggins remains keen to receive any nominations for sponsors. Please email suggestions to tony.diggins@lincs.pnn.police.uk

Missing Persons
Ruth Shulver provided an overview of ongoing work seeking to benchmark current practice by Forces in publicising missing persons, capture generic issues, and develop best practice.

Following discussion, it was felt that there should be APP on publicising missing persons. RS would link in with Wiltshire Police comms team, as CC Veale held the national portfolio, and progress from there.

In the meantime, any further feedback or issues should be passed to RS – ruth.shulver@surrey.pnn.police.uk

Action 4: Ruth Shulver to collate feedback, liaise with Wiltshire, and prepare a draft document for submission to the College of Policing for consideration as APP.

Any Other Business
Katie Perkins (Sussex) reported that four separate requests for campaigns had been received by Sussex, internally and from partners, recently. Was there greater opportunity to secure visibility of campaign planning among partners, enhanced opportunity to forward plan, and to work together as a service where campaign material is shared?

After discussion, it was agreed to take this item to NPCC Communications Advisory Group as the most suitable platform to progress.

Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 19 October 2016, commencing at 1015 hours, at NPCC Offices, London.

The meeting closed at 1145 hours.