Disclosure Details

Discipline - 170/14

Dated: 10 Mar 2014

Date of request:    18/02/2014

Date of response:  10/03/2014

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

Thank you for your email dated 18 February 2014  in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

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

You asked: 

Under the Freedom of Information Act I'd like the following details.
Between January 1 2009 and February 17 2014:

1.a) how many police officers and staff employees have been investigated for breaching police guidelines on social media use?

   b) for each investigation, please state the nature of the allegation.

   c) for each investigation, please state the rank (or paygrade) of the officer or civilian and the result - specifically whether an allegation was     proven, and whether they were sacked / resigned / no further action.
2. Please could I also have a copy of the force's current social media policy (if one is held), identifying guidelines for social media use?

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

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

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Please note the information provided is a taken 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 report.

Data has been checked for allegations finalised with subject attached between 01/01/2009 and 17/02/2014 for complaints and conduct matters recorded against Police Officers and Staff regarding the misuse of Social Network Sites.  The allegation finalised date was used for this request so the outcome of the investigation / complaint could be captured. 

A keyword search was conducted to obtain this information. The keywords searched were; social, network, media, chat, dating, website, twitter, facebook, classmates, blog, faces, reunited, geni, myspace, you tube, u tube, bebo, linkedin and graduate.

From 01/01/2009 to 17/02/2014 a total of 24 Police officers and staff have had allegations recorded against them regarding the misuse of Social Networking Sites. 

With the above in mind please see the attachment which answers your request for part 1

2. http://www.northumbria.police.uk/about_us/policies_plans_and_strategy/policies/Command_Services/details.asp?id=66851

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103
FOI 170-14._tcm4-93727