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Law and Order Canceled

Not the TV show. This is happening in London. Scotland Yard, the city’s metropolitan police department, has issued new rules for its employees who blog, pressuring them to restrict their writing or even quit altogether.

In fact the new Metropolitan Police rules on weblogs written by serving officers have lead several bloggers to follow the World Weary Detective‘s lead and stop writing.

The move has also generated a good deal of anger in Britain’s police blogging community.

One blogger, Cough the Lot, says: “Hypocrisy is the word I think. In the police we are constantly reminded of diversity and human rights and yet here are individuals being punished for penning the way it actually is.”

It’s not hard to understand why the police wouldn’t want their innards spilled all over the web. They certainly have parts of the job that can only function with little publicity or which might be misunderstood by the general public.

However, most police departments are already misunderstood (or even feared) by many of the people they serve. Instead of making up lots of rules to discourage their officers from writing, law enforcement might find they can use blogs to foster better relations with their communities.

blogs, scotland yard, police

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1 Comment

  1. It would seem that the association with ‘police’ has led to your failure to see the wood behind the trees. The police bloggers were demystifing the forces they represented. They were critical of how things were being done. This criticism did not call for the introduction of what you would possibly call draconian and repressive legislation. In the main, what they wanted was a better deal for the public. Would you have written in the same terms if a blogging community of, say, nurses or social workers were having their freedom of expression taken away?
    I do not see what more the guys could have done. To extend your idea “Instead of making up lots of rules to discourage their officers from writing, law enforcement might find they can use blogs to foster better relations with their communities” I would get little comfort from, say, a drunk driver telling me the roads were totally safe after 10pm. As Mandy said, “They would say that wouldn’t they?”

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