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back to article UK cops disciplined, sacked, quit over Facebook misdeeds

English and Welsh police are no more sensible than anyone else when it comes to being web2.0sluts, according to reports. Some 150 officers from forces south of the Scottish border have been disciplined for their antics on Facebook in the past four years, at least two were sacked, and a further seven are known to have resigned …

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Anonymous Coward

What a fucked up world we live in.

Commit an witnessed violent assault that's also caught on camera and you get found innocent by your superiors and the courts.

Give the slightest hint that the police are actually guilty of said assault and therefore reinforce the belief that these crimes are being covered up, "you're fired!"

This shows to me that the police service in this country are less about upholding the law than they are about hiding their crimes.

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Anonymous Coward

To put it another rway

We have no problem with our officers truncheoning some poor innocent sod to within an inch of his life, just as long as they don''t mention it in public.

The 1st rule of police brutality is never talk about police brutality, or you're fired.

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Silver badge

THE PROBLEM IS....

its not just the Police that have this problem, its the entire public services.

Put temptation in the way and people will fall into it.

A simple solution is ban the use of it by public servants as part of the employment contract, but imagine the screams of 'what about my rights', well don't we have the right to expect them to do their jobs properly?

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Bronze badge

Well..

Nothing about this on inspectorgadget blog....

Guns...gimme guns....

Nothing about shooting themselves in the foot online..

Ohhhhh.....sorry...

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Wankers.

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Right I am sorry but why are we holding the police officers to a higher standard? They are people too, I don't have a social media profile at all because I am not that way inclined but honestly why are we doing this?

Seriously I am shocked we still think the police are unfeeling automatons, a very close relative of mine is a Police officer in one of the most dangerous parts of the City I live in and they do a fucking hard job with little thanks, a job that that can make a person cold inside at the end of a day.

Let's not be so fucking quick to condemn a whole public service because of some people's comments of duty on a social network. Condemn them if they let a personal limitation or view effect there job.

The Police do a damned good job, I support them because 99.9% of them do help people, because in any profession there is always the 0.1% who are dicks.

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Anonymous Coward

Higher!? Standards!?!?

Let's pull this apart point by point:

Who's ideas impart any height or level to not overlooking someone who's job is to establish order not just disobeying the rules they enforce but then bragging about this using a medium that they're willing to use against everyone else not in their special handshake club!?

The standards set by the 99.9% make the curtailment of the 0.1% even more essential using these unrefuted figures this break from the norm is very egregious and should not be permitted to stain the others.

This post has no bias or position on the twattiness or otherwise of any individual, group of individuals or organizations formed by said individuals:-)

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"Let's not be so fucking quick to condemn ... because of some people's comments off duty on a social network. Condemn them if they let a personal limitation or view effect there job"

This, this right here. Everyone has an opinion, even the police. There isn't a problem as long as the opinion doesn't turn into action (or inaction). The cop might hate people who drive SUVs, but as long as they don't target SUV drivers just for their choice in cars, what impact does their opinion have on their job performance?

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@Nights_are_Long

1. This story isn't about holding police to different standards to the rest of us. Surely if any of us were stupid enough to go on Facebook and boast about unpleasant and/or illegal behaviour in the workplace we would expect to be sanctioned.

2. In general we *should* be holding the police to a higher standard than Joe Public. Just as (in sentencing terms) assaulting or otherwise harming a police office is considered more serious than a similar attack on any other member of the public, police offiers behaving in immoral or illegal ways should be treated more seriously than any other member of the public doing so as the consequences are potentially very serious. An assualt on the police is an attack on basic law and the principles of society, and police officers behaving immorally whilst on duty is just as dangerous.

3. The story included the relevant stats to contextualise the figures, so not sure why you think anyone is condemning "a whole public service".

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Because they are paid and sworn to uphold and enforce laws, not just obey them.

I doubt anyone particularly cares whether Officer Friendly has a bookface account and posts generally benign things about work, personal life, and so on. But when Officer Friendly commits misdeeds under color of law, it doesn't matter if this was discovered from social media, the neighborhood gossip, or a diary carelessly left open in the break room, it should be called out and punished as appropriate. Cops have a hard enough job without having to deal with the handful of asshats in their midst who insist on making the job harder for the whole force.

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OOoh an unpopular view

Yet one I happen to agree with.

Not for one moment suggesting anybody is 'above the law' or there aren't some clearly ridiculous decisions being made - but I would have thought most people signing up to the police are doing it to.. well... "try to make the world a better place" (only two (lovely) people I know who joined, did so for this very reason after finding their previous/better-paid jobs unfulfilling).

As with absolutely any profession, there are undoubtedly a decent selection of arseholes, but they do all seem to get tarred with the same brush way more than other professions.

Was brought home to me whilst chatting in the pub, when I was 'sssh-ed' for mentioning my friend's job out loud. They'd just told me in a somewhat shell-shocked tone what they'd been through that week, on my/our behalf, and whilst I wished to announce what they'd done to the world - they just wanted to keep their head down due to the abuse they'd get.

If I have a point, it would be that the entire "them and us" attitude is a problem and in all honesty, I think the fault lies with "us"

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Anonymous Coward

What happened

to the team that shot dead that guy carrying a chair leg? I'd forgotten all about that!

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FAIL

And that

Is what they rely on. It's obvious, really. If we are going to give otherwise ordinary humans power over us, then they must act within the law and the rules laid down for their behaviour. If they ever break these rules, they must be dismissed instantly at a minimum, because otherwise we're on a slippery slope (which of course we are on & have been for many years). Its a bit like football - they are playing a game with arbitrary made-up rules, & if they break them , they are sent off. Then all the plod would know where they stood - break a rule, lose your job. If they don't like it, they can fuck off IMHO.

If that story about the poor sod with the chair leg was on some cop show it would have been dismissed as implausible. Sometimes it seems that the most realistic portrayal of the police is in "The Simpsons"

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Anonymous Coward

"...why are we holding the police officers to a higher standard?"

Erm, perhaps the uniform and the powers of arrest might be a clue. Police services (in democratic nations at least) are supposed to rely on something quaintly called the 'consent of the public' to go about their duties on our behalf. That's why we expect them to adhere to higher standards than the rest of us. We, the public (and their paymasters) should expect the very highest standards of all police officers, at whatever rank.

Sadly, one look at our motley bunch of dysfunctional social misfits and playground bullies here in the UK Police Service, The Met in particular (which seems to attract it's own particular type of moron), paints a pretty p*sspoor picture. Still, when you have the likes of ACPO calling the shots from the top of the tree I'm amazed any of them manage to stay out of trouble.

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@Posts_are_Long

Somehow I don't think it was the good cops which were being condemned - it was the bad ones stupid enough to brag about their stupidity.

So at least there's ONE good reason for FaceBook's existence!

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Anonymous Coward

Bad apples everywhere

As already said, there will always be a minority of bad apples in every profession

and I'd like to see some of us armchair geeks police a city or town centre on a Friday night.. I know I couldn't do it.

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Big Brother

Police a city or town centre on a Friday night? I've done it.

On a small scale, anyway. Had to close the club and call out the dog handlers, too. But no one got a beating, and no one went to jail, and no one had anything other than an inconvenience (having to leave and go find somewhere else to be stupid).

Standards must be upheld. When you're The Law, or the representative of The Law, you need to be above reproach, or The Law is subject to reproach. And THAT is why the higher standard.

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Anonymous Coward

Been There Done That Worn The Funny Hat

Thank you Laird, you saved me having to say it. We were representing the Law - that was why we were held to a higher standard of behaviour than the general public. In and out of uniform.

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Silver badge

Bad apples everywhere

Yes the difference is that if you send a text to your mate saying that Doncaster airport should be blown up - you are arrested as a terrorist.

Post that you like using your position as a police officer to beat up suspects and you get told not to post about it again.

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Anonymous Coward

Two types of cops...

Bad cops and those who cover for bad cops.

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh...

At the risk of being dangerously balanced and not just slagging off all Police... Some are bad guys, the vast majority are good upstanding members of their communities, who do a difficult job for little recognition. I certainly don't agree with a lot of laws, but I don't let that cloud my vision of the people charged with keeping them.

It's like BMW drivers - you don't notice the vast majority who aren't up your arse at 90mph on the motorway, because they're not doing anything to make you notice or remember them. And, you'd certainly notice if there weren't any good cops.

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Police c*ntstables

Police aren't that bad. So they might pull up when you're parked in a rented car, talking with your mates, and then treat you like a suspect because you're a young adult and they suspect you're a dealer.

Honestly, cops can take their profession to their heads and talk down to you. But I guess, it's their job and maybe they just want you to hesitate if you are doing something wrong. Too bad for people who hesitate easily.

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Windows

Aighee fur whuhagn...

wuold laiike to whish AAAALLLL thu pulease occiffers ehn ther wourldd Ah verrryyy ahmherry crispmas AHND ANDD ah veryy ahappyy Nhew ahYer.

Hic!

Noo! UIh hav Noht bin dhurunking cuntsterbull.

Hic. Guhd consternoon!

Ah poleese orrifficers!

Hic....

</ahvery drunk version of Frank Hovis, radies und genlermen>

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OK, but let's not forget abuses commonly occur too.

>>>"Let's not be so fucking quick to condemn a whole public service"

OK, but let's not forget abuses commonly occur too.

Especially in those "bad" parts of town.

As a teenager, I was put in the hospital one by cop.

He cracked my head pretty good with a nightstick.

I witnessed the beating of a handcuffed person in custody by two "officers".

On the elevator ride up to the second floor holding cells.

The guy couldn't walk by the time he got upstairs.

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Anonymous Coward

BOL****S

What fantasy world do you come from?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

He said nightstick, so I'm presuming the USA somewhere - they have had some fairly well publicised problems with Policing, particularly during the 80s/early 90s in LA.

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Stop

And the UK hasn't?

I've seen UK cops punch a handcuffed victim in the face. I've seen them doing a lot of stupid, nasty or pointless things. How one is treated by the police depends entirely on their ignorant prejudices. When you really do need them, where are they? Who knows what might have happened if they weren't there for the riots, eh?

About the same, probably.

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Big Brother

Title? Is this the New Years Honours List?

I don't do Facebook, so tell me you lot.

Does a (possibly drunken) boast on FB automatically equate to a complete signed confession that you did the crime?

I suspect a lot of people have said a lot of silly things on FB - are they all to be taken as gospel?

If so, someone should pull the plug on the thing right now.

(Big Brother icon - because...)

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@Sam 15

The situation when it comes to the police is different because they do things like go to court and swear to tell the truth.

What do you think would happen to a looter if their defence lawyer said the police were brutal and produced a Facebook boast as evidence? I've a feeling they may get off.

How about a police officer giving witness testimony regarding someone in an ethnic minority commuting a crime, then being asked to read their own racist Facebook comments?

The comments on other officers wives and the like may not matter as much but they're still unprofessional and stupid.

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It might not count as enough evidence to convict of a crime but it's probably enough to get them disciplined for bringing their police force into disrepute.

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Anonymous Coward

The Wire

EOM

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Unhappy

These numpties should be jumped on hard, even if, for no other reasons than they have proved themselves utterly incapable of taking their job seriously, and they are causing a great deal of damage to those that ARE trying to do the job properly.

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Pirate

So.....

....as this involves the police using the Internet, is this crime going to be called iPlod?

iGMC

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Silver badge

Everyone knows there are _some_ bad cops.

The problem is that not enough is being done to get rid of them - and if any cops do break the party line to point them out, they get tarred and feathered because quite a number of the bad cops are high up.

Yes, they should be held to higher standards - and WHY doesn't S019 have cameras on their guns/tasers like other countries do with their police forces to make sure everything is above-board?

Things may be better than they were, but there are still too many Gene Hunts - and not enough protection for whistleblowers.

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