‘I have to deal with human bacteria all day’, says Essex police officer

POLICE have been warned about their future conduct after chiefs probed 11 officers for making inappropriate Facebook posts.

The remarks by Essex officers are reported to have included comments about wanting to beat up rioting students and referring to the public as ‘human bacteria’.

One officer, posting a video of a U.S. policeman shoving a suspect to the ground, is said to have commented: “How cool is the copper!”

In another post a colleague announced he was ‘off to Southend tonight with his band of merry men to dish out some justice’.

Another police officer post read: “I have to deal with human bacteria all day, every day. Thus I loathe and despise human kind.”

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The posts were made by Essex policemen and women who apparently did not realise that their profiles could be read by members of the public

An unnamed whistle-blower tipped off Essex Police’s professional standards department, who launched an investigation.

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He told a national newspaper: “Police officers are expected to maintain professional standards even when they are off duty – but this lot seem to have forgotten all that.”

A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed 11 officers had been investigated and warnings issued.

He added: “Essex Police is investigating information received earlier this month about comments made on personal Facebook sites.

“Social network sites have become a common and popular form of communication across all aspects of society including police officers. The difference is that police officers are subject to a code of conduct that also places restrictions on their behaviour whilst off duty.

“Essex Police expects the highest standards of behaviour from its officers at all times and, while it is important when off duty that they are able to relax, they are also expected to conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

“Use of certain words and expressions of view on social network sites can, dependent on their nature, breach the officers code of conduct. Where this is brought to our attention we treat each case on its merits and assess the severity of the behaviour of the officer concerned.

“In many cases, including those brought to our attention on this occasion it is appropriate that the officers are spoken to by senior management and the nature of the comments explored. Where the views or words are clearly unacceptable the officer will be instructed to remove the entry and be advised as to their future conduct.”

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