Over past five years, hundreds of British police officers have faced social media breach probes.
Out of 828 cases of social media breach by British police officers in England and Wales from 2009 to early 2014, 9 percent have resulted in resignation, dismissal or retirement. A research done by the Press Association, through Freedom of Information requests, has found that many officers had made racist comments online and asked crime victims to become friends on social networks.
About 14 percent of the reported cases ended with no further action, while majority of other cases were resolved through counseling of the officers.
In various forces, staff were being probed for comments on social media that were either homophobic, racist or ‘religiously aggressive’.
While the Greater Manchester Police reported 88 cases, the highest so far, West Midlands was second highest with 74, followed by the Metropolitan Police that recorded 69 cases.
The College of Policing, a professional body for policing in the UK, had launched their ‘code of ethics’ in July this year. The code serves as standard guidelines that “everyone in the service should strive to uphold, whether at work or away from work, online or offline.”
This move was made to ensure that forces are effectively trained and are aware of the latest social media protocols to abide by.
Photo Credits: The Mirror