This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jack o' Night Tales

Oh what a tangled web has been woven by the Leveson Inquiry.

On the one hand, police blogger Nightjack has settled for damages of £42,500 from The Times, who exposed his identity, partly by way of hacking, in 2009.

On the other hand, prosecutions are becoming more common for those who offend and distress the public by posting what I like to term "brain vomit" on their Facebook and Twitter pages. In the latest two high profile murder cases, people have been arrested following sick and twisted posts online.  In less serioues cases, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has made clear that online "banter" is not a subject for prosecution.

The mainstream media has a complicated reaction to the private and social medias of blogging, Facebook and Twitter.  But more and more the standards applied to public media and the current restrictions on free speech in everyday life, are being applied to those using the internet.  Should it worry us public sector bloggers, or reassure us?  Most of us are committing only disciplinary offences (rather than criminal), at the most.  But what about comments we fail to remove, that cause widespread offence?  Or material that is used in ways we did not predict or permit?

As more and more prosecutions for public order or malicious communications occur, it will become clearer just what is and is not acceptable online.  In the meantime, hopefully the only offence this blog will cause is that caused by those perpetrating the folly highlighted here.
 

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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

12 Comments:

Blogger DCI Broxted said...

One must weigh up Woods April Jones as vile but Raoul Moat Legend as having support. UK jails bloggers & tweeters as does Burma, Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Such fine company you keep.

09 October, 2012 18:36

 
Blogger jaded said...

The net is closing in Broxted.

09 October, 2012 22:41

 
Anonymous Mike said...

Slippery slope to State control of Free Speech. Such comments only cause offence, they don't incite to violence or disorder. Disgusting though we find them, these people have the right to express their views.

10 October, 2012 11:54

 
Blogger DCI Broxted said...

It has already closed WPC Jade D.

10 October, 2012 11:57

 
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I think some people browse the internet, twitter, etc simply in order to find something that offends them.
Presumably they then get a high out of making a complaint.

11 October, 2012 17:10

 
Anonymous DB said...

Rehill (aka Broxted). You clearly find this blog harder to leave untouched than any pie. Which is saying something.

In other news, keep up the good work, Sarge.

15 October, 2012 20:25

 
Blogger Big Pleb said...

Theres a difference between how the information is posted, anything on TWITTER is all public domain where as FB can be made public or private according to the privacy settings. More and more jobs are coming through of abuse or malicious communications or general harassment on these sites. Think they should charge to use the sites it might curb some of the problems. Or link it to your NI contributions, less you give the less service you can use??

21 October, 2012 20:29

 
Anonymous mark said...

This is a bit off topic i hope thats ok,,,
Iv just watched the strip search of a Miss Stephanie Rutter,,
What a barbararic horrid crule bit of work, all involved and the cops n general must be so proud wile i was horrified but then i would be im a normal decent man.
Was the male officer who was stamping on her legs added just so the custody staff could really humiliate a terrified innocent young girl.
Then you have the cheak to charge her.
What terrible monsters the police are and you wonder why the mops hate you.
Blog i no its such an old story but it upset me so much that i had to wright eerrr type.

11 November, 2012 19:28

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off track,, have u seen the PC Stephen Hudson thing....
I just cant see why the other cops let it go so far...if it was my mate work mate watever i would have stopped him pulled him away..
The kids slime why why lose your job over him.

14 November, 2012 06:44

 
Anonymous sophist said...

The best way to protect yourself against offnece is never to listen to anyone else.

The moderator knows what I mean.

14 November, 2012 20:10

 
Blogger steveg said...

Have you got got bored with blogging? Or been "outed" to the bosses?

16 December, 2012 20:03

 
Blogger Joker said...

This really is the least of your troubles.

Always ask yourself, is that email to your MP *really* important..?

19 December, 2012 12:50

 

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