Action on police social media urged

The latest research identified 1,588 social media profiles belonging to police officers and staff who identified themselves openly

The latest research identified 1,588 social media profiles belonging to police officers and staff who identified themselves openly

First published in National News © by

More needs to be done to uphold the integrity of police forces including a further clampdown on use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, inspectors have found.

A total of 357 instances of potentially inappropriate behaviour were identified on social media, spread across 185 profiles, said Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Offensive language, comments on police procedure, negativity towards work and extreme opinions on Government were among cases of inappropriate behaviour found during the July and August inspection.

Looking at 44 forces, HMIC assessed progress against recommendations made in a 2011 report into police relationships.

The Inspectorate was asked by the Home Secretary to look at integrity issues among police officers, such as how to interact with the media and acceptance of gifts and hospitality.

Unveiling its progress report, HM Inspector of Constabulary Roger Baker said HMIC is concerned that "progress is inconsistent, and lacks a uniform sense of urgency".

He said: "Integrity is fundamental to the core values of the police and what it means to be a police officer.

"As such it must be at the heart of every action carried out and word spoken by police officers and staff."

The latest research identified 1,588 social media profiles belonging to police officers and staff who identified themselves openly. This compared to 1,849 profiles across just eight forces in 2011.

Some 71% of inappropriate behaviour was found on Twitter, the Inspectorate said, which was all referred back to the relevant forces.

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