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Social Media Police Warnings

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11:43am 19th August 2014
(Updated 11:43am 19th August 2014)

Pirate FM can reveal the number of police officers in Cornwall and Devon disciplined for posting stuff online.

12 have breached guidelines on using social media in the last five years.

One community constable was handed a final written warning for putting photos posing with weapons on Facebook.

Gideon Benaim is a reputation protection lawyer.

He says we all need to check ourselves: "Because of social media, members of the public are finding out about things that police are putting online in the same way as they would about anyone else. They really need to understand, even if they're off duty, what they do could bring the police into disrepute; they need to behave accordingly.

"I think it's the way of the world and I think more people need to understand that there are potential consequences to their actions and if they wouldn't say it to their grandparents or their partners, they shouldn't say it at all online."

Devon and Cornwall Police have released the following statement:

"Devon & Cornwall Police actively encourages officers' use of social media and the Force greatly values the direct public contact and engagement social media offers.

"The police are now able to have contact with a much wider and greater audience as a result of social media use, indeed contact with some parts of society who would have little police engagement without the use of such mediums.

"All staff using social media for work purposes are given guidelines and policy to ensure they are aware of what the Force considers to be appropriate use. If used appropriately, and in the vast majority of circumstances it is, we hope the communities of Devon and Cornwall will have greater accessibility and engagement with the police as a result."

11:43am 19th August 2014

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