BTP Chief Constable welcomes interim social media guidelines

Chief Constable Andrew Trotter has welcomed new interim guidelines for police forces in cases involving social media.

British Transport Police Chief Constable Andrew Trotter

The interim guidelines were published on Wednesday, 19 December by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer QC, and will be subject to a three-month public consultation before they are finalised.

Chief Constable Trotter, who is also Chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Communication Advisory Group, liaised with the DPP in the creation of the guidelines. 

CC Trotter said: “The interim guidance sets out clear advice to police forces in England and Wales on handling complaints from the public relating to social media. It takes a common sense approach and will help support consistency from prosecutors and police.”

Javed Khan, Chief Executive of national charity Victim Support, also welcomed the new interim guidelines: "Victims tell us that sustained and vindictive targeting on social media can leave long lasting emotional and psychological scars, so we warmly welcome clarification on how prosecutors will deal with online threats or harassment.

"The distinction between communications which constitute a credible threat and those which may merely cause offence is sorely needed.

"We will watch how the interim guidelines are used with interest and will respond to them in detail during the consultation period."

For more information on the interim guidelines, please visit the Crown Prosecution Service website here.

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