A POLICE Facebook post showing a bike crash scene and a laughing emoji has been deleted after attracting criticism.
The photo showed a helmet on the ground and bike on its side after a suspect crashed uninjured in a police chase, with a ‘crying with laughter’ emoji added.
The photo on Cleveland and Durham Road Policing Unit’s Facebook page was posted with the message: ‘Motorbike pursued round Horden. He fell off trying to mount kerb (not injured). Arrested susp drug/drive,no insurance etc. #karma.’
The post was removed after attracting criticism from Facebook users, with one saying: ‘Glad you caught [them] but using a crying with laughter emoji on the guy falling off his bike isn’t very professional.’
Another wrote: ‘Inappropriate use of a laughing emoji and hashtag, it was particularly unprofessional and reflects on yourself in a poor way, which is undeserved as you provide a valued service.’
Not everyone was critical, with one saying: ‘Keep it coming.’
Another said: ‘It is a bit unprofessional for a police social media page... but let’s be honest it's only what we were all thinking. I love it when annoying, uninsured, joy riding little muppets come off their bikes.’
The force has now said officers will receive further guidance on use of social media.
Inspector Ed Turner of Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit said: ‘We encourage members of the Road Policing Unit to use social media as a way of communicating directly with the public, and with nearly 13,000 followers of the Durham RPU account it’s clear people like and are interested in their posts.
‘However, although social media is meant to be relatively informal we still expect officers and staff to be professional in how they use it.
‘Best practice on the use of social media is constantly changing and we will shortly be issuing some fresh guidance to all the RPU crews. We hope this will allow them to get the best out of Twitter and make the right judgment calls relating to issues such as emojis and hashtags.’
What do you think? Lol or troll?