PC Nick Manning is up on charges under police disciplinary procedures for tweeting about the job. Ã‚Â PC Manning is a Police Federation rep in Dorset and has been tweeting for the last year.
He appears to have been doing what we police bloggers have been doing for years, telling the truth about the way police and policing in this country works, and criticising the people who run policing. He recently revealed that on a night shift there were 3 police officers to cover the whole of North Dorset, and apparently hasn’t been too supportive of all the cuts in policing.
The problem is that telling the public some of these truths can be construed in the minds of police bosses and professional standards services as either ‘bringing the force into disrepute’ or ‘undermining public confidence’. The corollary of this must be that it is OK to fool the public into thinking there is sufficient police coverage, or to leave them in ignorance or worse, to lie to them. And this isn’t bringing the force into disrepute?
I’m longing for someone to take the chief constable to court for breach of human rights in freedom of expression for a police officer who writes something in their own time, off duty, and merely tells the truth about policing.
The bosses don’t like when the truth doesn’t meet with their smoke and mirrors versions on how things run, you’re not towing the party line and they can’t have people singing of different hymn sheets. They hate it and they take it personally. Their corporate bullying can be vengeful and effective, even if they don’t win. Career avenues can inexplicably narrow. There is always room for a transfer when your station suddenly becomes overmanned and another 30 miles away needs an extra body. Going from paying nothing to get to work – because you walk or cycle – to paying Ã‚Â£200 a month in fuel for the next 6 years or more is a very effective and completely masked fine on someone who has pissed you off.
And they still get away with it.