Police Officer Rants On Twitter

A Dorset police officer is facing disciplinary action following comments he made on the social networking site Twitter.

Pc Nick Manning used his account to voice his frustration at understaffing in the north of the county.

The officer, who is a Police Federation representative and chairman of the constables' board, has also used his account to criticise Home Secretary Theresa May and public sector cuts.

One tweet was about his colleague who was beaten up when out on duty by himself on Christmas Eve.

Shortly before his account was removed Pc Manning told his 192 followers he had been given a Regulation 14 notice to say he is under investigation for possible misconduct.

Based at Blandford, he tweeted: "Might be taking a break from tweeting as I've just been reg 14'd for 'inappropriate content' on here. Should be an interesting interview.

"Thank you all for your support, my reg 14 says I undermine public confidence and bring discredit on the service... we'll see how it goes."

Dorset Police Federation chairman Clive Chamberlain said: "Because the matter is now being investigated we are unable to make a specific comment at this time.

"We aware that many Dorset Police officers enjoy using social network sites whilst off duty.

"All police officers have a right to a private life and as such should be entitled to make responsible use of any social networking site."

In October Pc Manning revealed that a large part of the county was being covered by just three officers at night.

He tweeted: "Last 3 nights in North Dorset 3 cops covering everything north of the A31, the public here should have #noconfidenceintheresamay."

In his Twitter profile Pc Manning said: "I'm just a busy cop and Fed Rep in Dorset.

"My views are my own and not of Dorset Police. Never be scared of the truth or free speech."

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said the force does not comment on internal staffing matters and it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

She added: "A Regulation 14 is a notice given to a police officer informing them that an investigation is being conducted in relation to his or her conduct.

"The notice will identify the alleged misconduct and the potential sanctions, should the allegations be proven."