New police guidelines place journalists in the "same bracket" as criminals, according to the Daily Mail.
The paper's report came after the College of Policing released a new set of nationwide guidelines recommending that police must declare if they are friends with journalists.
The guidelines also said that forces should not name arrested persons apart from in exceptional circumstances.
The Mail highlighted clause 3.6.1 of the guide, which says: “If you have a relationship with a specific journalist on a personal basis outside of your role as a police officer or member of police staff (such as a relative or close friend), details should be logged within your force in accordance with local policy and procedure.”
The newspaper pointed out that “many” police forces “already require their officers and staff to declare any ‘associations’ with criminals, suspects or private detectives”.