The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Well, there's clearly been a communications revolution around how not only the media but the public communicate with each other, and not unlike other organisations, the police in my view have been struggling to keep in front of that or apace with it. So very few have what I would call robust policies around what you can and cannot do on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, et cetera. Please don't misunderstand that, I'm not against any of these sites, there are lots of positive aspects from the Police Service communicating with the public on these social networking sites to inform the public of issues in their areas that they would want legitimately to know about.

But the controls around it and, again, what a good job looks like has become very blurred and the blurring I found, doing this piece of work, was the differential between what is public in your professional life, what should be in the public domain. There will be bits of your private life, I guess, which it's okay to expose in the public domain anyway, because it has some relevance, but there will also be other bits about you that are, in my view, best kept private, because it's nothing to do with anyone else and it can taint people's judgment on the professionalism of, in this case, the Police Service.

So we found examples of people -- we got an organisation that knows far better than I do in these cases to do as a piece of research with eight forces to find out the people who were using a social networking site, Facebook in this case, to find out whether they were engaged in any inappropriate behaviour, and whilst the numbers were small, ie on the inappropriate behaviour, it was clear there are no great checks and balances around how people should be using this media.

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