Social Media Misconduct - 1146/22

Date Responded 09 September 2022

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:

The number of police officers that have been investigated for their conduct in text messages, on WhatsApp and/or other social media sites in the calendar years of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and available information for 2022.

For each recorded case can you provide details of the incidents that led to formal and informal sanctions, and the outcome of that action please.

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 by Northumbria Police.

The following caveats should be noted regarding the data supplied:

  • The attached information has been extracted from a ‘live’ database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this request.
  • Data has been checked for allegations recorded between 1 January 2017 to 30 August 2022 for matters relating to complaints and misconduct on WhatsApp and/or other social media sites by Police Officers.  Data has been grouped by the year of recording the alleged incident and not necessarily when the incident took place.
  • A key word search was conducted under the allegation summary for the words social media, Whatsapp, Facebook, Tik tok, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Outcomes noted as “live” are yet to be determined.
  • Please note that the data has been presented in such a manner as to avoid the application of exemptions relevant under the Act (Section 40 – Personal Information) to withhold due to low numbers, and these will not be broken down further.

With the above noted I am able to disclose the located information to you per the attached document.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

Social Media Misconduct - 1146/22

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