90 UK policemen disciplined for social media misuse

Social

by Bhavana Navuluri| 10 June 2014

Incidences on the rise as facebook and twitter used to spread abuse

Up to 90 police officers in England and Wales faced disciplinary action in 2013 for posting offensive or inappropriate messages on social media sites, in a fivefold increase in such cases.

Scotland

A total of 519 disciplinary actions were taken between 2009 and 2014, according to Parliament Street, a "right of centre think tank" in the UK.

The organization received this information in response to a Freedom of Information request sent to 28 police forces across England and Wales.

It was revealed in December last year that 200 Metropolitan Police officers faced disciplinary action since 2008 for sharing illicit material, including pornography, through emails.

In the latest revelations, too, the Metropolitan Police figured on the top with 71 of its officers facing charges for inappropriate behavior on social media, in addition to other allegations such as oppressive behaviour, discrimination and failures in duty.

Greater Manchester Police had 39 instances of its officers placing body-cam images on social networking sites, joking about incidents on Facebook, making abusive remarks and posting "sensitive" information on online, since 2011.

There are also cases where an officer was given a final written warning for 'sending unwanted images via Facebook' and another was disciplined for calling fracking protesters 'scum' on Twitter.

Parliament Street director Clare George-Hilley said, "Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook play a vital role in tackling crime and building community relations. However, these findings demonstrate a haphazard approach to social media."

According to the figures obtained by the Guardian through a Freedom of Information request in December 2013, the Met police recorded 535 email misuse cases since 2008; disciplinary action was taken on 187 of them for sharing porn content in emails.

Photo courtesy of Man vyi

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