Police should not exclude direct contact

While I appreciate Hampshire police press office is trying to be
helpful in making approaches to families of Tsunami victims for talks
and pictures (Press Gazette , 14 January) it is a little naive not to
expect direct approaches in a disaster of this size.

Often
families, particularly those whose relatives may be missing, want to do
everything they can to trace them and this is clearly where we can
help. A direct sensitive approach from a good reporter or photographer
is generally the best way of achieving this. We do have experience in
dealing with matters of this kind and I have found, in this and other
disasters, relatives want to talk. Assistance from family liaison
officers is always welcome but should not be to the exclusion of the
direct approach.

Denis Cassidy President, National Association of Press Agencies

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