Hundreds of police 'behaved inappropriately on social media'

Hundreds of police staff have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines, including sending Facebook friend requests to victims of crime and posting racist and threatening comments, it has emerged.

Over a five-year-period, 828 police officers and civilian employees were investigated, according to documents obtained by the Press Association.

Around a tenth of cases resulted in a resignation, dismissal or retirement.

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No place in force for police who 'abuse trust'

There is no place in policing for officers "who abuse the trust placed in us by the public," Chief Constable Alex Marshall, chief executive of the College of Policing, said.

Documents obtained by the Press Association revealed hundreds of police employees have been investigated for breaches of social media guidelines in the last five years, including posting racist comments.

The vast majority of police officers and staff uphold high standards and in many cases are responsible for challenging and reporting colleagues who act improperly or unlawfully. Where people working in policing have undermined their own reputation or that of the wider service, they must face appropriate action.

These figures include relatively minor matters, which can be dealt with by management advice, through to cases of misconduct which, quite rightly have resulted in officers and staff losing their jobs. There is no place in policing for officers who abuse the trust placed in us by the public.

– Chief Constable Alex Marshall

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