Cops disciplined for mis-using Facebook

19 Scottish cops have been disciplined in the past five years for mis-using social media

A SCOTTISH ambulance worker and a special constable have lost their jobs over posting they made on social networking sites.

A further 19 Scottish police officers have also been disciplined for the inappropriate use of social media sites over the past five years.

Figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal a Fife special constable resigned before misconduct proceedings in 2006/7 after disclosing information on police activity on Bebo.

It also revealed a number of other mis-uses of Social media by Scottish cops, including criticising their bosses and posting information about police work.

Union bosses have warned that employers are becoming increasingly strict with social media posting, claiming more staff will be caught out in the future.

Statistics reveal that two male officers in the community policing department of the Central Scotland force were given warnings last year after posts made on Facebook. One member the name of a member of public he met while on duty, and the other made “unsolicited” contact with a member of public he’d met while on duty.

Northern Constabulary said it dealt with a case in 2009 where four male and two female members of staff were given special training on “diversity awareness” following their inappropriate comments on Bebo.

In 2010 a male PC was given an official warning after setting up a Facebook site with the word “police” in the name and discussing confidential police work.

Fife Police disciplined three cops and a civilian worker in 2010/11 because of posts on Facebook.

Dumfries and Galloway said in 2010/11 a PC was dealt with after making Facebook comments.

Grampian revealed a sergeant and two PC’s were given formal warning last year over their mis-use of Facebook

Tayside cautioned a cop in 2010/11 for comments made on Facebook.

Strathclyde were unable to release its figures by deadline.

The Scottish Police Federation said officers were warned as recruits to ensure their social media sights were only open to their friends and family and that anyone caught out should have been aware that disciplinary rules covered bringing forces into disrepute.

David Forbes, Unison’s spokesman for ambulance staff said: “There’s a culture of writing down what you may have in the past just said privately in the pub.

“The ambulance service has issued guidelines and we have signed up to them so staff shouldn’t way anything online they wouldn’t write in an open letter.