Collins moves on media block

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Police Minister Judith Collins has urged Gisborne police and media to sit down and work out a solution to a dispute in over local law enforcement's decision to stop giving reporters details of crimes in the area.

Media groups have criticised a move to restrict information on crime available to journalists and the public in Gisborne,

But police boss Inspector Sam Aberahama says the move is intended to make the community feel safer.

Police national headquarters say the policy is not part of a nationwide push to censor information given to the public.

The Media Freedom Committee, representing a wide range of media outlets, has questioned how the Police Commissioner can allow any of his staff or stations to interfere in the public's right to know what is occurring in their town and neighbourhoods.

"People will feel safer when they know the police are reducing crime or improving their clearance rates by finding and prosecuting offenders - not when police suppress information on what is going on in their community," said committee chairman and Herald editor Tim Murphy.

Ms Collins last night told the Herald police and media generally shared "a very free flow of information".

"The commonsense approach would be for police and the local newspaper to sit down and come up with a solution that is acceptable to everybody."

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