The phone-hacking scandal has led to the popular myth that journalists enjoy too cosy a relationship with the police.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth, as the latest research by freelance journalist Nigel Green reveals. He reckons that 99 per cent of crimes are kept secret by police press offices.
It is a far cry from the situation of just a few years ago, when police would open their incident books to journalists to enable the press to decide which crimes were newsworthy and which were not.
Writing in The Guardian, Green notes that last year police forces in England and Wales spent £30m on public relations.
Talking about his latest research in the light of the hacking scandal, Green says: “We should rightly be concerned about police passing on sensitive and personal information. But, when it comes to crime on our streets, there is perhaps an even greater risk when the police don’t tell us what we have a right to know.”