Media Enquiry Guidelines
The media team will be happy to help journalists with any media enquiries that have a policing purpose or concern incidents that are being responded to or investigated by the force.
The more information you provide the better the equipped the media team will be to assist your enquiry.
Our team deal with thousands of media enquiries a year so our phone lines are extremely busy. The team also manages the communications for a number of ongoing operational incidents and investigations so we have to prioritise.
Media can contact the press office
During core office hours (Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm)
Phone: 01785 234 864
Out of office hours - Please phone the above press office number and you’ll be diverted to a member of staff in the control room.
Classification of media enquiries
We have a classification system in place for media enquiries with requests being prioritised by the seriousness of the crime and threat, risk and harm to the public.
We hope this transparency allows us to better manage the expectations of the media so they can plan their workload.
• Murder where an offender(s) is outstanding
• Attempted murder where an offender(s) is outstanding
• Stranger rape where an offender(s) is outstanding
• Terrorism offences
• Incidents formally classified as “Major Incidents”
• Serious sexual assaults where an offender(s) is outstanding
• Arson with intent to endanger life where an offender(s) is outstanding
• High risk missing people
• Ongoing kidnap/abduction investigations where there is no media blackout
• Fatal road traffic collision within the last 24 hours
• Enquiries regarding wanted appeals relating to any of the aforementioned crimes.
• Murder where no suspects are outstanding
• Stranger rape where no suspects are outstanding
• Attempted murder where no suspects are outstanding
• Serious sexual assaults where no suspects are outstanding
• Arson with intent to endanger life where no suspects are outstanding
• Aggravated burglary
• Serious injury road traffic collisions
• Other wanted enquiries
• Arson where there is no intent to endanger life
• Other sexual offences
• Drugs offences
• Other offences such as vehicle crime, theft and criminal damage
We aim to respond to enquiries that fall outside these priority categories, such as low level crime or feature requests, within seven days.
Please note all these response times are on a case by case basis and subject to the agreement from the Officer in Charge (OIC).
Further guidance on media enquiries:
• Please be aware that to find details of incidents on our systems we require an address and a time and date
• If you call us or email across your enquiry please be assured that this will be logged and worked upon as soon as possible.
• When requesting custody photos we ask that people provide a name, age/DOB, address, details of the offences, sentence. We will only release a photo once it has been approved by the officers in question and if the sentence is more than 12 months
• When using images issued by Staffordshire Police we ask they’re used contemporaneously and solely for the purpose in which they have been distributed and for nothing else
• Our policy is not to confirm or deny identities of suspects or those arrested. We only confirm identities of those who’ve been charged
• In general, the media team will only confirm the identity of murder victims when they have been formally identified and the family informed
• Any death that is not part of a police investigation will be dealt with by the Coroner’s office and the media team will not provide personal details of people who have died in non-suspicious circumstances
• We don’t answer enquiries about road traffic collisions unless it’s in relation to a release we have published
• We don’t answer enquiries about non-suspicious sudden deaths unless it’s in relation to a release we have published
• Freedom of Information requests must go through our FOI team at email@example.com.
Our officers and staff communicate via our social media channels – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Our force Twitter account is @StaffsPolice, our force Facebook account can be found here and our force Instagram account is @StaffsPolice