Dorset policeman faces action over critical tweets

A Dorset police officer is facing disciplinary action after he criticised police cuts on social media site Twitter.

PC Nick Manning used his account to voice frustration at claimed under-staffing in the north of the county.

He criticised Home Secretary Theresa May in tweets to his 192 followers.

In October he wrote "Last 3 nights in North Dorset 3 cops covering everything north of the A31, the public here should have #noconfidenceintheresamay".

The officer, who is a Police Federation representative and chairman of the constables' board, has been given a Regulation 14 notice.

The notice is given to police officers to let them know an investigation is being carried out into their conduct.

'Inappropriate content'

Shortly before Mr Manning's account was removed he tweeted from Blandford: "Might be taking a break from tweeting as I've just been reg 14'd for 'inappropriate content' on here ...

"Thank you all for your support, my reg 14 says I undermine public confidence and bring discredit on the service... we'll see how it goes."

In a tweet on Christmas Day, he wrote about one of his colleagues "taking a kicking by a family", adding "single crewing is the future apparently".

Dorset Police Federation chairman Clive Chamberlain said as the matter was being investigated, he could not make a specific comment.

"We are aware that many Dorset Police officers enjoy using social network sites whilst off duty.

"All police officers have a right to a private life and as such should be entitled to make responsible use of any social networking site."

In his Twitter profile, PC Manning described himself as "a busy cop and Fed Rep in Dorset".

His profile carried the disclaimer: "My views are my own and not of Dorset Police. Never be scared of the truth or free speech."

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said the force would not comment on internal staffing matters and it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites