Disclosure Details

Internet Use - 152/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 03/02/2012

Date of response: 28/02/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 3rd February 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

  1. How many (a) police officers and (b) police staff were disciplined in 2011 for improper or inappropriate use of Force internet/data systems? 
     Please provide for each incident a brief description, which should include (i) the month of the incident, (ii) the nature of the offence or breach of force policy, (iii) if the person was an officer or a member or civilian staff and (iv) how the matter was resolved, i.e. written warning, sacked etc.  If any person was disciplined for using an inappropriate website please provide me with the web address.

  2. If possible can you provide me with a list of the 50 websites that are accessed most frequently by computers in your force. For this question please feel free to use any convenient time frame in 2011.


In response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards and ICT Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. The following information was extracted from  a Live database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this report. Data has been extracted based upon complaints attached to cases finalised between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011.


Incident Date





2010 December

Misuse of Force Systems

Final Written Warning


2011 March

Misuse of Force Systems

Written Warning


2. No information held.  Information at this point is held for a short period of time only, and information for 2011 is no longer held.  However, in order to aid and assist you I have given information for the time frame 1 January 2012 to 8 February 2012.

Until last year internet use was limited to work activity and private use was unauthorised.  Eighteen months ago force policy changed so the internet could be used for private purposes, as long as it is outside of work time.  This is closely monitored within the force.

It is important to stress social networking sites are also used for work and investigative purposes.  For example the force has its own Facebook and Twitter site where information is released to the public.  It is one of a number of communications channels we use and is increasingly valuable when we need to get information out quickly to a wide audience.  These sites also provide staff with a useful monitoring tool and allow them to gather intelligence and information.

Staff are entitled to look at Facebook in their break time as they are entitled to look at many other websites.

It is also worth noting that the Northumbria Police website is hosted internally and is therefore not included in these statistics.

For the information we can provide regarding the 50 websites that are accessed most frequently by any employee during their working day, please see the below:-

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029
FOI 152-12_tcm4-56130