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Notts Police officers posted offensive words on Facebook

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Police officers in the region have posted offensive comments on Facebook, sent inappropriate emails and shared classified information online, an investigation has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request has unearthed a dossier of demeanours when it comes to using social media, especially Facebook, for those working for Nottinghamshire Police.

Although the list of shame does not name those involved, it does include their position, and includes constables and a sergeant, as well as regular staff.

The list sent to Chad shows no fewer than 12 incidents recorded between 2009 and 2012.

Of the 12 offences, half were committed by ‘police staff’, with the remaining six including five constables and one sergeant.

In total, two were given written warnings, six resulted in ‘management action’ while the remaining four of the 12 were dismissed - which included three members of police staff and a constable.

All but one of the offences mentions the use of Facebook.

Quizzed about the statistics, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, said: “I’m aware that the force has policies in place regarding the use of social media and it’s important that officers and staff abide by these.

“While social media is a popular form of interaction and communication it needs to be used responsibly - whoever you are and wherever you work.

“Disciplinary procedures are really an operational matter, but I think it shows that the processes the force has in place are effective, particularly when you consider that all the cases cited pre-date police and crime commissioners.”

Indeed, the request for details through the Freedom of Information Act asked for the number of incidents between 2009 and 2014.

However, the last incident recorded was from 2012.

A 12-page document outlining the policy for employees at Nottinghamshire Police was put together in October 2012 stating that the use of such communication ‘must be properly governed’ to ‘maintain and enhance reputation and professionalism’.

It was also stated that staff would benefit from ‘further guidance and clarification on the standards of behaviour expected of them when using social and digital media.’

It continued: “Our use of social and digital media will at all times be professional, honest, transparent, accountable, ethical, appropriate, proportionate and justified in law.”

* Of the four members of staff dismissed for using Facebook, two were deemed to have posted inappropriate comments regarding their colleagues. One staff member had ignored management advice over the issue.

A third staff member sacked had shared police information on Facebook, therefore committing a breach of duty.

A constable was fired in 2011 after they posted a photo on Facebook of injuries they sustained by a member of the public.

Other constables were disciplined for posting details of an upcoming police operation, with another making comments about muslims in London failing to observe a two-minute silence.

A sergeant faced management action after makings offensive comments about police training.

 

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