Engaging with us on social media

Social media terms of use

We publish information on our website and social media channels to help explain how the police complaints system works and the role we play in it.

We are unable to reply to every comment or enquiry, but where appropriate, we'll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

When posting comments we expect our users to offer us the same level of courtesy as we offer them. To manage this, people who engage with our accounts or comment on our work or staff are expected to abide by the following terms of use:

Not post material that could be considered to be:

  • Abusive or obscene
  • Deceptive or misleading
  • In violation of any intellectual property rights
  • In violation of any law or regulation
  • Spam or trolling (persistent negative and/or abusive tweeting which aim to provoke a response)
  • Not post material that includes other people’s personal or private data
  • Not use IOPC imagery without permission

They should also follow the respective social media platform’s Terms of Use.

We encourage open, lively debate but posts that violate any of the above rules will result in a reminder of the terms of use. If we feel users have repeatedly posted material that breach our terms of use we will:

  • Report or remove, in whole or in part, posts we feel are inappropriate
  • Block users
  • Report users to the respective platform
  • Reserve the right to raise concerns about content posted in comments with employers

If you contact us regarding an interaction you have had with the police please do not include any personal information in your public communications.

Our use of social media

Our social media accounts are updated and monitored during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. During this time we will publish social media content on, but not limited to, the following:

  • updates on investigations, including learning recommendations
  • Information about career opportunities and employee engagement activities
  • engagement with stakeholders and local communities
  • information about our services (eg how to make complaints)
  • publications such as Learning the Lessons or our latest research reports
  • signposting to content on our website
  • campaigns
  • invitations to provide input on consultations

Although we can not reply to all messages, where we identify emerging themes, issues or helpful suggestions, these will routinely be passed on to relevant colleagues.

If you contact us on social media and express an interest in making a complaint we will provide you with a link to our website to the relevant page that contains:

  • Information about the complaints system, and
  • The ability to make an online complaint.

If you need further information we will provide a link with contact information.

We may also:

  • use hashtags and mention other social media accounts where appropriate. Being followed, using hashtags or mentioning other accounts does not imply endorsement of any kind
  • like and share third party posts or content that we think is relevant to our work and of interest to our followers but, again, this is not an endorsement
  • tag relevant organisations or individuals
  • use analytics or third parties to analyse our social media and our channels for trends, insights and engagement

We will only publish photos which have the consent of those pictured.

Social media accounts are not a point of contact for media enquiries, which should be directed to the media office in the first instance. We do, however, reserve the right to comment on inaccurate coverage or comment.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

Although we can accept FOI requests via social media, we would strongly advise you to submit your request using either our email or postal addresses as shown in our guidance. 

We do not routinely monitor our channels out of normal hours, or at weekends and cannot accept responsibility for any requests being missed if made via social media.

Any requests submitted via social media must include a return address that we can respond to, ideally either an email or postal address. We will provide responses to FOIs to that address and they will also be posted on our disclosure logs. Guidance on how best to submit a complaint is provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office.


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