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Disciplinary Action re Social Media - 593/20

Date Responded 27 April 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

  1. “The total number of police officers disciplined for conduct on social media from January 1, 2016 to April 10, 2020?
  2. And the total number of complaints regarding their conduct over that period?
  3. Can you please tell me what kind of disciplinary action they received - was it taken to a misconduct hearing, or were they just reprimanded?
  4. And what social media sites were they on?
  5. Also, what were the offences?
  6. What kind of things did they write/post?
  7. Were the disciplinaries in relation to their personal accounts or officer-run profiles such as roads policing unit accounts?”

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

  1. 3.
  2. Zero for all 3 officers.
  3. Three officers attended Misconduct Hearings of which two officers received final Written Warnings and one officer received Management advice.
  4. Facebook and Whatsapp.
  5. No criminal offences.

6 & 7 We shall not be offering a response to these points and in doing so cite the following exemption.

Section 40 (2)  - Personal Information

Section 40(2) is a class based absolute exemption and as such legislators have identified that there would be harm in disclosure and there is no requirement to evidence this or to consider the public interest test

You should consider this to be a refusal under section 17 of the Act for those points of your request.

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