Well-known blogger and police officer Michael Brown – better known as Mental Health Cop – has had his Twitter account suspended by West Midlands Police pending an investigation into “alleged misuse”.
Inspector Brown, who has won a Mind media award for his Mental Health Cop blog, has been praised for increasing awareness of the complexity of mental health policing through the blog and @MentalHealthCop Twitter account.
A statement issued by West Midlands Police said: “Recent monitoring has led to the suspension of an account operated by a response inspector whose focus was on mental health policing. Certain aspects of the officer’s communication is currently being investigated for alleged misuse of a force account and as such it would be inappropriate for the account to continue whilst further enquiries are made.
“Any breaches of force policy are taken extremely seriously and will be thoroughly and professionally investigated.”
West Midlands Police’s assistant chief constable, Garry Forsyth, said: “Our policy is intended to enable officers and staff to communicate with our communities effectively to offer an insight into our work.
“It does impose some restrictions but we are, of course, an organisation that holds sensitive information so we have to ensure that there is some restraint. I also can’t imagine any organisation that would want its employees to be openly critical of it - or indeed allow it.
“The policy is not intended to discourage personal perspectives and I believe a human element assists with engagement."