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Top cop accepts ‘slap on wrist’ from journalists over comments about press

Andy Cooke 1A top police officer has accepted a “slap on the wrist” after being taken to task over “unfair and damaging” statements he made about the press.

Regional journalists were among those to challenge Andy Cooke, left, the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, after he made sarcastic comments on social media over a Sun article about a group of police officers taking a tea break on shift.

Chief Con Cooke said on Twitter the “brilliant scoop” by the tabloid, which revealed eight officers had ordered hot drinks and bacon sandwiches at a cafe while on their designated break, had made him “proud of the British press”.

But his comments irked a number of journalists, including Andy Sykes, current deputy editor of Blackpool daily The Gazette, and former Crosby Herald and Bootle Times editor Peter Harvey.

In response to Chief Con Cooke, Andy tweeted: “Please don’t tar us with the same brush. Most are not The Sun, lazy and poor generalisation. Press does a lot of good work for your force.”

Andy described the Sun’s story as “garbage”, but added: “Don’t lump gutter, clickbait journalism in with regional press please, we try to be balanced and responsible.”

Peter wrote: “I applaud [Chief Con Cooke] for slamming non-story. But don’t lump all ‘British press’ in with Sun. After all, not all coppers are bent, eh?”

In response, Chief Con Cooke said: “I accept my slap on the wrist. And agreed.”

Andy told HTFP: “While many would not disagree with Chief Constable Cooke’s views on this particular story, his statements about ‘the press’ were unfair and damaging. I would have thought a man in his position would be more considered when making sweeping generalisations.

“It was heartening to see other hard-working journalists – who work well with their local police forces – challenge his comments as well as myself.

“With power comes responsibility, especially on social media with its many pitfalls, so I would hope Chief Con Cooke chooses to work with the regional media in the future rather than lump us all in the same, misleading, pot.

“And I would happily make him a brew to discuss it further, I might even chuck in a chocolate digestive.”

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  • April 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Sadly he’s hardly alone in this regard. You only have to read social media to see the number of people, albeit perhaps not holding such high-powered jobs as him, willing to lump just about everyone in the industry in with the gutter press.

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