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article imageBritish Police Officers warned over Facebook Use

By Tim Sandle     Dec 30, 2011 in Internet
More than 150 British Police Officers have been disciplined over a perceived misuse of Facebook. This has include one sacking.
The BBC has reported that over the past five years more than 150 British Police Officers have been subjected to disciplinary inquiries into their use of the social networking site Facebook. Such actions have led to one officer being dismissed from his force. This has occurred across 41 of Britain's 43 county police forces.
The data, gathered between 2008 and 2010 under the Freedom of Information Act by the Press Association, indicates that the types of misuse include making comments about the wives of other officers, revealing operational secrets, racial abuse and harassing ex-partners. The dismissal case was for an officer with the Hampshire force who posted a racist comment on Facebook in 2009. Facebook has over 30 million users in the UK.
MSN News notes that a further seven officers resigned following complaints, ahead of possible disciplinary action.
Under a video of a youth with a knife being tackled by officers in a police station, the Huffington Post states that an officer posted: "Look at this stupid c***, hope he gets a good f****** shoeing in the cells."
The Guardian quotes Roger Baker, who led a recent review into police corruption as stating:
"Social networking is seen as a risk by all forces and authorities, but there are limited or inconsistent policies around what is acceptable, what you should do, what you shouldn't do. We found a significant blurring between people's professional lives on social networking sites and their private lives which may be in the public domain and private lives which probably should remain extremely private."
This story indicates the dangers of those in public service using social media without considering the relationship between views expressed on an open network and their own roles and responsibilities.
More about Police, Facebook, disciplinary, Investigation, Racism
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