Regional editors have accused police forces of routinely lying to and unnecesarily withholding information from newspapers.
Deteriorating relations between regional newspapers and their local police forces came under the spotlight at the Society of Editors conference in Southampton.
The comments came in a session on police and the media which focused on the need to rebuild relations in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry.
SoE board member Simon Bucks, who was chairing the session, said: “We routinely hear complaints from regional editors about relations with the police.”
Colette Paul, the chief constable of Bedfordshire who also took part in the discussion, said: “We need good strong, honest, robust relationships…We need to show the public what we do and how we do it.”
But Ms Paul’s call for a two-way relationship between police and media sparked a series of questions and comments from regional editors claiming the opposite was happening on their local patches.
One senior regional editor, Alistair Mchray of the Liverpool Echo, said that when reporters rang the police press office asking if anything was happening, they would invariably be told it was “all quiet.”
Ali said that the police only gave information about incidents which the paper knew about already.
Nigel told the gathering: “We are lied to on a regular basis…we are made to feel like the enemy when really we are on the same side.”
Mike said his local force in Notts now saw itself as a publisher, and would withold stories from the paper before publishing them on its own website.
Bob Satchwell, the SoE’s executive director, said it was time to move on from the “stupidity” that had followed the Leveson report.
“Journalists and police officers need to talk more, not less,” he said.
Bob also attacked the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to reveal journalists’ sources.
He said: “We warned that (RIPA) was inadequately drafted and ripe for misuse. It’s now turning into a Dangerous Dogs Act.”