APComm’s 2014 conference was opened by Chief Constable Colette Paul stressing the importance of communication teams to police leaders.
The national policing lead for communication also highlighted the importance of forces being open and transparent and developing conversations with the public. Chief Constable Paul also added: “The only way to get people’s’ confidence is by opening up and showing what we do.”
She discussed the documentary ’24 hours in police custody’ that Bedfordshire Police assisted with talking through the reasons for taking part and the learning from the experience. This was followed by Head of Media for the Metropolitan Police Ed Stearns talking through dealing with documentaries.
Ed explained there needed to be a clear return on the investment of time and resources in taking part in documentaries. He called for forces to work together and conduct evaluation of the impact of documentaries.
Taking one of the key themes from Chief Constable Paul, Head of Communication for Surrey Police, Ruth Shulver, discussed staff engagement and the best way to share messages. As well as case studies there was a chance for teams of delegates to work together and talk through what worked and why.
The first day of conference concluded with the APComm annual general meeting highlighting the achievements of the past year. The AGM was provided with a treasurer and membership update before details of the forthcoming elections were provided. All committee posts are up for election and nominations need to be put forward by the end of October.
It was clear from the day that the importance of police communication has increased and teams from forces need to work together to share learning, knowledge and experience to benefit the service.