West Midlands Police reinstate officer's Twitter account

West Midlands Police has released a statement revealing they have reinstated a Twitter account known as 'Mental Health Cop'. The account had been suspended following allegations of "inappropriate" use.

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Police reinstate officer's suspended Twitter account

An police officer has been allowed to return to Twitter after being suspended over alleged "inappropriate" use of the social networking site.

The @mentalhealthcop profile - used by response inspector Michael Brown - was suspended on Valentine's Day, but has now been reinstated.

@mentalhealthcop is back on Twitter Credit: @mentalhealthcop/Twitter

A statement from West Midlands Police said the officer had "accepted there had been some inappropriate use", and said informal advice was given.

Asst Ch Cons Garry Forsyth said he was pleased the issue had been resolved so quickly.

As with any organisation which communicates with the public, we have to ensure that there are parameters around the way information is shared, particularly when information can be sensitive.

I am pleased that this issue has been resolved in a speedy manner to the satisfaction of those involved.

The real issue here is communicating complex issues in an effective way. I am pleased that @MentalHealthCop will once again be providing views and comment across mental health issues.

He said it would not be "fair or proportionate" to release any further details.


Police suspend Twitter account after allegations of misuse

A Twitter account belonging to an award-winning police officer who blogs about mental health issues has been suspended, following allegation of misuse.

Michael Brown was known on the social networking service as 'Mental Health Cop'. The police inspector's blog has also been set to private.

In a statement West Midlands Police have said certain aspects of the officer's communication are being investigated and it would be inappropriate for the account to continue whilst further enquiries are made.

Our policy is intended to enable officers and staff to communicate with our communities effectively to offer an insight into our work.

It does impose some restrictions but we are, of course, an organisation that holds sensitive information so we have to ensure that there is some restraint. I also can’t imagine any organisation that would want its employees to be openly critical of it - or indeed allow it.

The policy is not intended to discourage personal perspectives and I believe a human element assists with engagement.

– ACC Garry Forsyth, West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police suspend 'Mental Health Cop' Twitter account

West Midlands Police has suspended the Mental Health Cop account

West Midlands Police has released a statement on why the force suspended a Twitter account known as 'Mental Health Cop'

"A force social media policy which details how channels, such as Twitter, should be used by officers in both an official and personal capacity.

As a force, the Corporate Communications Department monitors all corporate use and should any inappropriate or operationally sensitive communication be identified, this will be taken up with the individual.

In serious cases, the matter would be referred to the force’s Professional Standards Department.

Recent monitoring has led to the suspension of an account operated by a response inspector whose focus was on mental health policing.

Certain aspects of the officer’s communication is currently being investigated for alleged misuse of a force account and as such it would be inappropriate for the account to continue whilst further enquiries are made.

Any breaches of force policy are taken extremely seriously and will be thoroughly and professionally investigated."

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