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Use of Social Media

Dated: 7 December 2022

POLICY TITLE: Use of Social Media

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Corporate and Strategic Services

AUTHOR: Head of Communications & Engagement




AIM OF POLICY: To provide a framework for the Force to effectively engage and communicate via social media, whilst retaining quality control and minimising any risk to public confidence, ongoing activities or operations.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: Allows the Force to communicate and engage with the public in a way which utilises the strengths of social media but also manages quality control, consistency, corporacy, and minimises risk to public confidence as well as ensuring the use of simple, jargon-free language which is easily understood and relevant to the audience. The policy also ensures that officers and staff are aware of the standards that are expected of them when using social media in a professional and personal capacity.

REASON FOR POLICY: This policy has been created to meet the need for the Force to use social media and similar tools effectively.

Northumbria Police will communicate and engage with the general public and the communities it serves, via a range of social media, including message boards, blogs and social media networks.

Social media is a key tool for communicating, for critical incident management and operational planning.

At all times Northumbria Police will maximise the availability of on-line processes through which the public can engage with the Force, in line with the approach agreed by the Communications and Engagement Department.

Officers and staff must consider their use of social media activities whether in a work related or a personal capacity. These must not cause any risk to public confidence in the Force, or any risk to organisational activities or operations and, must be in line with all related procedures and guidance.

The Communications and Engagement Department will regularly review the Force's approach to the use of social networking as a communication and engagement tool, and will make recommendations to the Force Executive Board, via Assistant Chief Officer (Corporate Services), on an annual basis.
SOURCE DOCUMENT: External Communication Strategy and Internal Engagement Strategy; National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) – Engage: Digital and Social Media Engagement for the Police Service

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