A recent article in The Guardian newspaper has highlighted how effective new technology and a clear policy can be in preventing a hostile working environment. The article advises that the Metropolitan police in London recorded 119 incidents of staff sharing sexual and offensive material in 2008, but this fell to 26 in 2009, 28 in 2010, 14 in 2011 and none in 2012 or 2013.
According to the article by Josh Halliday’A Met police spokesman said the drop was due to “more proactive methods used to stop inappropriate emails” and greater staff awareness about the issue.’
Image Analyzer as the market leading provider of technology in this area always seeks to emphasise the important message that effective technology deployment and clear and communicated acceptable use policies protect employees and valuable brand images from the detrimental effects of association with pornography.
It is pleasing to see a positive news story around this issue when in most cases the articles cover the detrimental effects of an issue and the reactive consequences for the organisation involved. The evidence is clear – Affordable and effective technology when combined with a clear use policy can positively impact the issue of hostile working environments.
Many companies and organisations still choose to ignore the existence of an issue and fail to take proactive action, however thankfully this attitude is slowly changing, reducing associated financial and employee consequences. In the case in point, the Metropolitan Police should be commended for the proactive approach they are taking
Full article follows
Met officers disciplined for sending illicit emails including hardcore porn
Josh Halliday – The Guardian, Thursday 26 December 2013
Figures show 187 police officers and civilian staff have faced action for sharing obscene material in the past five years
Nearly 200 Metropolitan police officers and staff have been disciplined for emailing illicit material – including hardcore pornography – at work.
Figures released by Scotland Yard show that 187 police officers and civilian staff have faced disciplinary action for sharing risque material over email since 2008. Of these, 84 were caught sharing “offensive or obscene” material, including pornography, while 103 sent emails with content classified as “sexual and nudity”.
The figures, obtained by the Guardian under freedom of information laws, reveal only four Met police employees have been sacked in six years for email misuse, while 441 have received verbal warnings.
Clare George-Hilley, director of the Parliament Street thinktank, said: “Following the Plebgate scandal, these incidents raise further questions about operations and the conduct of a small proportion of officers at the Met. The public expect police time and resources to be dedicated to fighting crime instead of being wasted on personal pastimes and it is therefore vital that rigorous and robust policies are in place to uphold high standards and rebuild public trust.”
The 187 cases involving sexual and offensive material were among 535 “email misuse” incidents recorded by the Met since 2008. The level of recorded email misuse has dropped from 339 in 2008 to only one in 2012 and none this year.
The force recorded 119 incidents of staff sharing sexual and offensive material in 2008, but this fell to 26 in 2009, 28 in 2010, 14 in 2011 and none in 2012 or 2013.
A Met police spokesman said the drop was due to “more proactive methods used to stop inappropriate emails” and greater staff awareness about the issue. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service treats each occasion when an allegation is made about a member of its staff seriously and will, where any allegation is received, fully investigate that incident to determine whether a criminal offence or a breach of the standards of behaviour has taken place.
“Where the conduct of our staff is found to have fallen below the standards expected, the MPS will take robust action to ensure that staff members are, where appropriate, prosecuted, disciplined and that lessons are learned from each case.”
The number of staff whose behaviour fell below acceptable standards represented a tiny percentage of its total 39,000 workforce, the spokesman added. “We hold our officers and staff to the highest professional standards and appropriate action will be taken in all cases where our IT systems are used inappropriately