Force bans personal internet use

POLICE officers and staff in Essex have been banned from logging on to the internet for personal use to stop them wasting any time in the fight against crime.

POLICE officers and staff in Essex have been banned from logging on to the internet for personal use to stop them wasting any time in the fight against crime.

The command came from the man in charge of the force, Chief Constable Roger Baker, who is bidding to increase the visible police presence on the streets.

Those needing the internet for police-related work will be allowed to continue with on-line operations but the ban covers personal use.

Last year the EADT revealed how Ch Con Baker introduced “e-mail free” Wednesdays, effectively banning them one day a week, later extended to includes Fridays as well.


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Officers and staff were told to pick up the phone or walk down the corridor and communicate face-to-face instead.

And yesterday Essex Police Authority chairman, Robert Chambers, said he supported the latest change which came into force on Monday.

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He said: “This is not to keep officers from using the internet for police business, it is to stop them using it for too many personal things and wasting too much time.

“I think the temptation is always there with some people who like to look on the internet for all sorts of different things and begin to use a computer for other things than police work.”

He said he did not know what type of sites officers had accessed.

“There must be a temptation as it is easy to look at the internet and look at something, whatever it might be, and really what the chief is trying to ensure is that those who do work in the backroom jobs are fully focused on police work.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “This new communications policy will prohibit the use of internet and e-mail facilities for personal and private reasons.

“However, access to police-related websites will continue to be available to all.

“The force recognises and understands that some officers and police staff will require full access to the internet, and specialist units will be given the dispensation to do so.”

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