According to the Press Association, more than 150 policemen in England and Wales are facing disciplinary action due to their behavior on social networking sites such as Facebook for the past two years. Some of the offenses committed included harassment of colleagues, posting inappropriate comments and photos, befriending victims, and revealing details about police operations.
According to Roger Baker, the leader of the review into police corruption for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), there had been a significant blurring between the professional and the personal lives of people – something seen as a risk to the police force. He also was concerned about the limited and inconsistent nature of the policies that revolve around the proper use of social networking sites in relation to the workplace.
Sure enough, the statistics that were provided showed some rather disturbing results that would no doubt be debilitating to the image of the police force as a whole, especially in these days where more and more people are turning to social networking sites for information. Of the 3.4 percent of police officers who identify themselves as part of the force, 2 percent have posted inappropriate comments and photos that could be detrimental to the image of the police force in general.
The worst of them had racist and sexist comments, and still some others actually bragged about beating up the rioters during the infamous London riot incident.
So far, there have been seven members of the force who have willingly resigned due to their social networking mishaps, while one officer was dismissed without prior notice. 150 more will be facing disciplinary action, as mentioned, though what that entails has not yet been made clear. Still, this should serve as a strong reminder to all people – not just policemen – to watch what you’re posting on Facebook. Keep your account as clean as possible in order to avoid any trouble in the future.