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Met police warned on blogs

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The Metropolitan Police is the latest organisation to warn its members about blogging. The "guidance" was issued earlier this month and some blogging coppers have already stopped updating their online diaries.

World Weary Detective said: "It is therefore with deep regret and great sadness that I must announce that I will no longer be submitting posts to this blog. I cannot challenge Scotland Yard. I am weary indeed and cowardice is my bedmate."

The advice makes clear the Met cannot stop officers blogging but they should "consider the impact of expressing views and opinions that...bring the organisation into disrepute" - some bloggers fear this "catch-all" offense could cover most blogs.

The best summary came from the Policeman's Blog: "I can't help thinking that by issuing this guidance the Met is trying to wrestle with a problem that simply doesn't exist. For one thing, hardly anyone who calls the police on a regular basis is able to read, so there's no chance of regular customers not dialling 999 because of something they read in a blog.

"Secondly, hardly anyone reads blogs, despite what the media says.

"Thirdly, most police bloggers could give official police press officers a lesson or two in connecting with the public."

Wise words indeed.

Despite the warnings, there are still plenty of blogs being updated by serving police officers, special constables, magistrates and, famously, ambulance drivers. ®

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