A police officer is being investigated for allegedly posting foul mouthed and possibly racist material on his Facebook page.
The officer made the comments on his personal site but has fallen foul of his employer because he names the force in his biography at the top of his home page.
A selection of the posts, some of which date back to the beginning of the year, were sent to the Leicester Mercury anonymously. In one, the officer, who the Leicester Mercury is not naming, uses foul language about "foreigners", calling them "scum". Elsewhere he swears freely and refers to a "brilliant" shift which culminated in "fights in town".
A police spokeswoman said the matter was under investigation. The officer has not been suspended while the review is carried out.
A person who spotted the postings contacted the Mercury to complain, saying: "This person openly announces that he works for Leicestershire Constabulary, yet uses abusive language of the worst kind."
Ivan Stafford, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: "Officers have to be mindful that they are on duty and are representing the force 24 hours a day. Whatever they do, even if they think it is in a private arena, can be picked up and will affect people's perceptions of them and the force. Our advice to anyone using social networking sites is to think very carefully about everything they write."
Another officer, who has a personal Facebook account and also uses the social networking site Twitter regularly, said: "I post about the job from time to time because these sites are about staying in touch with friends – and a lot of my friends are police officers. But I'm always very careful what I say because this is in public. I've seen the posts that are being investigated and I can see why some people might be upset by some of them. But at one point he says he has worked a 17-hour shift, so I can understand fully why he might want to let off some steam from time to time."
The officer under investigation has since removed the reference to his employer in his Facebook biography. The comments that sparked the investigation can no longer be seen.
A force spokeswoman said: "We encourage officers to use social networking, but advise them to be careful what they put out on personal accounts."
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