Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is the media's scrutiny of the police valid?

Over at the Guardian's political blog Michael White asks whether the police get a fair deal from Fleet Street.

It certainly appears that the press are only too eager to jump on details which in hindsight appear obvious to the general public.

Michael gives as an example the case of Levi Bellfield

Apparently, the coppers had missed a vital clue which might have saved lives, by not tracing a car which had appeared in crucial CCTV evidence. Watching CCTV footage, hour after hour, must be mind-numbing (it always looks that way on TV cop shows); you can see how mistakes happen. As usual, a sense of proportion might say ''well done, coppers'' before picking holes in an investigation's failings.

Fair opinion? Well the police will claim that hindsight is a wonderful tool and they have to operate in the 24/7 media attention just like everybody else.The media has a right to scrutinise their activity just as it does with other publio servants.

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