#P45 for social media cops

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A pair of shamed North Yorkshire Police officers quit following allegations of social media misuses, a probe has revealed.

And an investigation has shown that the force launched 46 investigations over complaints that officers had been up to no good on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

The majority of complaints were thrown out by the force, although 10 officers were reprimanded by police chiefs for their behaviour.

And senior figures in the force were among those investigated, including a detective constable and a pair of inspectors.

The information was only brought to light under a disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, one of the region’s most senior police officers says that despite some officers misusing social media, it still plays a “key role” in engaging with the community.

“The high number of investigations into reported breaches of the force’s social media policy reflects how seriously we take the integrity of our staff,” Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick.

“Each report is thoroughly investigated by our professional Standards Department.

“If a staff member is found to have breached the standards expected of them they can expect to be dealt with appropriately.”

The investigation found that nationally, officers were punished for a wide range of police policy breaches.

These included one PC sending an abusive message to a member of the public, while another allegedly insulted someone’s wife on Facebook.

A pair of Northampton special constables stood down after being pictured online in a “compromising position”.

Despite several other forces disclosing background to the allegations, North Yorkshire Police declined to provide information about the exact nature of their investigations.

However, Deputy Chief Constable Madgwick added “I would like to reassure the public that all police officers and police staff are committed to the national Code of Ethics, which provides clear guidance on the use of social media.”