March 13, 2006

Police threaten copper bloggers

by Brian Turner

Computers & Internet

“These blogs reveal what actually goes on behind the glossy, PR-friendly corporate image put across by most forces, and threatens to actually inform the public as to what police officers do.”

That’s the statement of police blogger Bow Street Runner, who claims that recent blogging guidelines issued within the Metropolitan Police are intended to prevent the public learning the realities of police work.

The Bow Street Blogger continues:

We’re also the enemies of performance management, the Key Performance Indicators we’re under pressure to meet and the various other bureaucratic instruments implemented to monitor how police ‘perform’ (in spite of the fact that efforts are then made to meet such indicators purely for the sake of meeting them…), since these blogs show such things actually exist and that we are under pressure to meet them. Certain authorities would rather this not be common knowledge.

The issue of company blogs and staff blogging remains a difficult issue for some organisations – but it needs underlining that any company with good staff morale and good working practices shouldn’t have too much to fear, so long as confidential information isn’t posted online.

In the instance of the police blogs, it’s blown up into an issue where a public-funded body is seen to be trying to save face, rather than allow the public to have a direct insight into police working life.

Already World Weary Detective has announced it is closing down, citing the need to protect his family’s income than risk annoying management.

Other police bloggers such as Cough the Lot continue to run for the time-being, but it’s only a matter of time before the Met starts examining bloggers on a 1-to-1 basis.

In that regard, we can only give them our best wishes, and hope that any public funded body considers paying more attention to keeping its own employees happy, rather than trying to shut them up.

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2 Responses to “Police threaten copper bloggers”

  1. A W on March 13th, 2006 12:41 pm

    The Police has shot themselves in the foot here (uh, figuratively, no need for armed response).

    Those blogs are informative and insightful. I personally have a lot more sympathy for front-line police after reading honest accounts of their jobs, and judging from comments left on the sites I’m not the only one.

    As PR goes, they do a lot more good than official press releases and such. It’s a real shame they’re being pressured into closing down.

  2. Cough The Lot » Blogging In The News on March 14th, 2006 11:57 pm

    [...] New Met blogging rules spark anger Police threaten copper bloggers [...]

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