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Police asks local press not to publish details on Nottingham attacks during investigation

The press invited claimed they were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements before attending the briefing

Nottinghamshire Police has requested that local press do not publish details relating to police in relation to the Nottingham attacks.

Journalists from various media outlets covering the horrific stabbing of last summer were invited to an off record media briefing with Nottinghamshire Police last Friday.

Before reporters were allowed into the briefing, where Chief Constable Kate Meynell spoke, press claimed that they were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

It is understood that Nottinghamshire Police believe that disclosing the information could prejudice the current Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigations into their actions with the killer Valdo Calocane, despite the fact that the IOPC should already be aware of such information.

The news was described as “concerning” by the News Media Association, an organisation which represents the interests of the press.

Owen Meredith, Chief executive, said: “Good communication between the police and the media is essential to ensuring the public interest is properly served.

“We are very concerned by reports of Nottinghamshire Police apparently using a non-disclosure agreement to prevent the media reporting matter in the public interest relating to a recent-high profile case in the country.

“This kind of tactic damages trust between the force and the media and has no place in an open democratic society.”

University of Nottingham first year students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar both 19 years old, were fatally stabbed in the early hours of the morning on June 13th 2023 on Ilkeston Road.

Police then found the body of 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates on Magdala Road.

Calocane pleaded not guilty to murdering Barnaby, Grace and Ian but guilty to their manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.

It has since come out that Calocane had an active warrant for this arrest at the time of the killings after assaulting a police officer.

After it was revealed that police officers have also been discipline after sending “crude and distasteful” messages over a group chat and accessing information relating to the investigation it also came to light that one officer was let go after watching bodycam footage of the victims being treated on the scene of the attack.

The families of the victims have repeatedly criticised failings from Nottinghamshire Police with Ian Coates’ son telling the press that NHS mental health services along with the police “have to be held accountable for their failures.”

It has been confirmed by the IOPC that they have launched an investigation following complaints by the victim’s families and is also considering the actions of Leicestershire Police in the weeks preceding the attacks.

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Police has said: “Nottinghamshire Police want to be clear – at no point were journalists made to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

“The off the record background briefing advised and facilitated by the NPCC is standard practise and is part of Authorised Professional Practise for Policing. These briefings are not unusual.

“The family have raised a number of concerns and the appropriate way for these to be resolved is through the ongoing independent investigation by the IOPC as well as the review by the College of Policing.

“Commenting further could prejudice these investigations. We have written to the families of all of those affected by this horrific crime and offered to meet them.”

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