FOI 15032022-1 – Complaints concerning the use of twitter by Chief Constable


Please provide information concerning any dissatisfaction, complaint or concerns regarding the use of Twitter by Chief Constable Adderley and the outcome of any such concerns raised.


I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the information you requested is held by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.


  • On the 12/08/2020, a complaint was received by the OPFCC in relation to a link the Chief Constable posted about an article published by the Northampton Chronicle and Echo about crime reduction at the McDonald’s in Northampton town centre. The article stated that crime is down 40%. The Complainant replied to the Chief Constable stating that this crime reduction may be down to lockdown restrictions. The Chief Constable replied advising that this reduction took place between August 2019 and March 2020. This led to a number of comments from other Twitter users, some of which were retweeted by the Chief Constable. One included the use of the acronym FFS. This complaint was not recorded but service recovered by the OPFCC, and it was explained that feedback would be given to the Chief Constable in relation to use of appropriate language.


  • On the 09/06/2020 a complainant contacted the OPFCC to complain that the Chief Constable had blocked him on twitter. The OPFCC adjudged this was appropriate and did not give any feedback to the Chief Constable. The Complainant appealed to the IOPC which was not upheld.


  • On the 26/01/2020 the OPFCC received a complaint in relation to a tweet to the Chief Constable. The post contained criminal allegations which the Chief Constable replied to. The OPFCC found that there was no data breach but that that Twitter was not an appropriate forum for such comments and feedback would be given.


  • On the 29/10/2019 the OPFCC received a complaint in regarding a twitter comment in relation to the Harry Dunn case. The complaint was not formally recorded as the complainant was not eligible to complain. The Commissioner released the below statement saying feedback had been given. “I know that Northamptonshire Police has throughout sought to investigate Harry Dunn’s death thoroughly and fairly so that the family can find the justice they seek. I am sorry that this tweet has distracted from the important work taking place to resolve this tragic situation. I am grateful that it was brought to my attention and I have spoken to the chief constable about the need for all force communication – on this and all other issues – to remain professional and sensitive at all times.”

  • On the 04/02/2019 the OPFCC received a complaint alleging that that the Chief Constable failed to act upon crime reported to him directly. The complaint was locally resolved by the OPFCC with a recommendation to the Commissioner that the Chief Constable consider including details of how to report crime on his twitter page. This has been adopted on the Force Twitter page and reads: “Do not use Twitter to report emergencies/incidents. Call 101 or use our online forms for non-emergencies and enquiries – use 999 in an emergency only.”

  • On the 17/01/2021 the OPFCC received a complaint relating to comments made by the Chief Constable on twitter relating to the Harry Dunn Case. The complaint was recorded and the OPFCC concluded that action taken by the Chief Constable by removing the tweet in question and issuing an apology was reasonable and proportionate and therefore no further action would be taken.


  • On the 18/03/2021 the OPFCC received a complaint that Chief Constable had engaged in a disagreement with him on twitter, publicly embarrassing him. The OPFCC declined to record a complaint, concluding that the complainant was not eligible to complain as they were not adversely affected by the comments which were considered to be entirely appropriate.


  • On the 08/06/2021 the OPFCC received a complaint that the Chief Constable had made inappropriate comments about the retirement of another Officer on twitter. Whilst the complainant was not eligible to complain as they were not adversely affected, the PFCC did speak to the Chief Constable and as a result the comment in question was removed.


If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Nicci Marzec, Monitoring Officer, Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, East House, Force Headquarters, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.