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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Officers and Social Media

Date of request: February 19, 2021
Reference: 221/21

Request

I would like to obtain in the past three years (broken down by year);

 

  • The number of officers found to have broken the force social media policy
  • The number of officers found to have committed a) gross misconduct b) dismissed/resigned
  • Where a misconduct finding was recorded, details of the breach in as much detail as possible within the time/cost framework.

 

Response

Please note that we do not discipline officers by a ‘Social Media Policy’ but by using the Standards of Professional Behaviour. Therefore in order to collate this information, we have gathered all complaints and conduct cases finalised between 01/01/2018 and 31/12/2020 and conducted a manual word-search within the allegation summaries to determine if this relates to Social Media.

 

These words were; Facebook, Instagram, Social, Tik Tok, Twitter. Please note, key word searches are problematic as they do not in any way provide an accurate response. If the key words have not been mentioned, the data will not be collected. Vice versa, if the key words have been mentioned in an unrelated context, irrelevant data will be collected.

 

Please find below the information we have identified as relevant to question A of your request. As no officers were found to have committed gross misconduct or were dismissed/ resigned we have provided you with the outcome of these cases instead.

 

  2018 2019 2020
No of Officers 1 2 4
Outcomes 1x Written warning 1x Written warning

1x Final written warning

1x Final written warning

3x Reflective practice requires improvement

 

Please find below a summary of the allegations made with regards to the written and final written warnings given.

 

Officer 1 Officer repeatedly made offensive comments on social media sites regarding members of the public.
Officer 2 Videos uploaded on social media whilst on duty and in full uniform, not for any policing purpose and contrary to social media advice protocols.
Officer 3 Officer is alleged to have uploaded CCTV footage to a personal phone and shared via social media platform.
Officer 4 Officer retained suspects social media handle on their own social media account.
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