The Public Affairs Branch was established in July 1997, as part of a major restructure of the New South Wales Police Service. The restructure was considered as a necessary response to recommendations in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service, which was published in May 1997. (1)
The main function of the Branch was to operate as in house communications agency providing specialist expertise in the following areas: advertising, internal communications, issues management, market research, media liaison, public relations and sponsorship to internal and external customers. (2)
By mid 2001, the branch comprised a Police Media Unit, and a Marketing Unit. The Marketing Unit instigated major campaigns for drug reporting, police recruitment, and child protection (Operation Paradox). The unit also organised National Police Remembrance Day. The Media Unit distributed media releases, organised media conferences, and provided organisational support for more than 100 callouts. The Branch also managed the Police Service's Website. (3)
By 2005, the branch comprised a Media Unit and Corporate Communications Unit. The main functions of the Corporate Communications Unit included: multimedia production; overseeing sponsorship requirements; assisting the film and television industry with using police images on camera; corporate branding, including the use of the police insignia, design and photography; public relations support; internal communication via the intranet and Police Weekly. The branch also conducted market research. (4)
(1) New South Wales Police Service, Annual Report, 1996-1997, pp.6- 9, and p.33.
(2) New South Wales Police Service, Annual Report, 1999-2000, p.17.
(3) New South Wales Police Service, Annual Report, 2000- 2001, p.16.
(4) New South Wales Police Service Website http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/about_us/structure/specialist_operations/public_affairs_branch (accessed 08/08/2006).