Evening Star praised by Lord Chancellor

A COLLABORATION between The Evening Star and Suffolk police has been singled out for praise by the government.The Lord Chancellor and secretary of state for constitutional affairs Lord Falconer highlighted the Star's recent story on the previously unpublished Tattingstone murder files when he a spoke at the Law for Journalists conference in London on Friday.

A COLLABORATION between The Evening Star and Suffolk police has been singled out for praise by the government.

The Lord Chancellor and secretary of state for constitutional affairs Lord Falconer highlighted the Star's recent story on the previously unpublished Tattingstone murder files when he a spoke at the Law for Journalists conference in London on Friday.

Lord Falconer was talking about the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) - the new law which comes into force on January 1 2005 and will mean information held by organisations such as the government, councils, police and health authorities will be more available to the press and public.

He said: "You need look no further than two weeks ago for evidence of how the Freedom of Information Act should work. The Evening Star in Ipswich approached Suffolk Constabulary for a look at files on a notorious but now decades old, unsolved murder.

"The police took the sensible decision to treat the Star's request as an FOI request. they opened their files. The information made a great splash for the newspaper. But it also went a good way to cementing the trust between paper and police.

"This is the crux of the act. It is a huge opportunity to build a relationship of mutual trust and respect between the institutions that govern and the media that report on their activities."

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Evening Star news editor Martin Davey, who was in the audience, said: "It is really good to know that the work we are doing in Suffolk is being noticed. Suffolk police deserve a good deal of credit for the approach they have taken so far on releasing information under the Freedom of Information Act and it is great for us to finally be allowed to tell our readers the truth behind many of the biggest stories like unsolved crimes."

n. Do you think the Freedom of Information act is a good idea? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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