Disclosure Details

Social Media - 002/13

Dated: 21 Jan 2013

Date of request:      31/012/12

Date of response:    15/01/13

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

Thank you for your email dated 31 December 2012 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 provisions of the Freedom of Information Act I would like to request the following:

  1. A digital copy of the force’s social media guidelines as issued to officers (if such guidelines have been issued) and the date they were issued. 

  2. The number of official force Twitter accounts, including those for individual officers, currently active as of date of receiving this FOI request. 

  3. The number of officers who were subject to disciplinary proceedings in 2012 and 2011 involving misuse of social media, including details of their transgression and the resultant action, if any

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 Professional Standards and Corporate Communications Departments 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.

  1. As the information you have requested at this part of the request is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.

    I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

    Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

    Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

    Information which answers this part of the request is published on the Northumbria Police website and therefore freely available.

    In order to assist I have provided the relevant link below.


  2. 1 officer – final written warning in relation to comments placed on a social networking site.

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