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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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Warning for police officer who 'sent Facebook request'

A police officer who asked a victim of crime to be their friend on Facebook received a written warning, in just one of hundreds of investigations into breaches of social media guidelines by police employees revealed by the Press Association.

Other cases include:

  • Investigations into homophobic, racist or "religiously aggressive" comments.
  • A civilian officer posting a comment on a Facebook account regarding the actions of Muslims in central London failing to observe a two-minute silence.
  • Two special constables in Northampton who were pictured on Facebook in a "compromising position" - they resigned.
  • An employee with Dyfed Powys accused of being "threatening, bullying and intimidating towards a complainant by sending private messages via Facebook."
  • A Police Community Support Officer with Devon and Cornwall Police received a final written warning for posting photos on Facebook of themselves with weapons.

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