When policemen are caught looking at Web porn

Figures obtained under the U.K.'s Freedom of Information Act reveal that more than 400 police officers and support staff have been disciplined for inappropriate Web use.

It can't be easy being a policeman.

Every day you're forced to be in contact with some of the lower beings of the world. Sometimes you have to punch them or shoot them, when you'd rather be out with your lover or at least surfing the Web for a little fun.

As a matter of fact, I have just learned from the very learned Daily Mail that an average of nine police officers and support staff from every British police force have been fired or warned after transgressing the police's IT regulations.

To view one's screen, one must remove one's riot helmet. CC Stuff and Nonsense/Flickr

In all, the Mail said that its figures, obtained under the UK's Freedom of Information Act, show that at least 439 police officers and support staff were fired or disciplined for viewing material online that they ought not have been viewing on police time; that includes anything from viewing porn or using social-networking sites while on the job, to doing individual background checks for personal use or posting unauthorized video online.

I know there will be some who, on hearing this information, will feel angry. They will say policemen are hypocrites who, in showing us the stiff arm of the law, demonize us for questionable behavior while partaking of questionable practices themselves.

Perhaps, though, others might feel something akin to relief. Policemen are humans, after all. They have weaknesses, vices, and foibles. Perhaps you might share that psychological insight with the next policeman who stops you for speeding and finds a week-old spliff in your glove box.

 

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