Hundreds of UK officers investigated over 'misuse' of police social media accounts
Hundreds of police employees are now being investigated for breaching social media guidelines at forces across England and Wales.
12:58 19 August 2014
According to the figures obtained through a Freedom of Information, 828 cases of misuse of police social media profiles have been reported.
Offences range from somewhat harmless – but unprofessional - social media mishaps to more serious cases including harassment and posting content of a sexual, racist, or homophobic nature. While 9per cent led to resignation, retirement, or dismissal, a total of 14per cent of the investigations resulted in no further action taken.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, of Greater Manchester Police is the ACPO lead on social media. He said: "Social media is a key tool for us in having conversations with communities, using it not only to pass information but to receive information about crime and incidents, help people make informed choices.
"All police employees are covered by the code of ethics that was introduced earlier this year.
"So staff must act with integrity, with fairness, with honesty, openness, and regardless of whether they are tweeting as John Smith or Joanna Smith, if they are recognisable as a PC or a member of police staff, then they have to be taking into account the code of ethics."