A MEMBER of the Wiltshire police force resigned after they made an inappropriate post on the constabulary’s official Facebook site.

The resignation came after a comment was made on the Wiltshire Police Facebook page about the police authority’s decision not to give staff a pay rise in 2010.

In Wiltshire there were 18 investigations into alleged inappropriate use of social media between January 2009 and February this year.

It comes after a freedom of information request from the Press Association found 826 cases nationwide where police force employees use of social media was reported to bosses.

Wiltshire Police said in a statement: "Wiltshire Police expect all officers and staff to comply with the force’s values and behaviours when using any form of social media.

“The force also has a social media policy which all members of Wiltshire Police are expected to adhere to.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, spoke out in support of the ways that social media can help a modern day police force.

He said: “Social media offers a great way for police officers, and indeed Police and Crime Commissioners, to reach out to the public they serve.

“Used properly, Facebook and Twitter can help officers to locate witnesses, publish CCTV images and appeal for information.

"Social media can help forces to solve and prevent crimes but the important thing is to use these sites wisely.”

Mr Macpherson said he was satisfied in the way that Wiltshire Police had dealt with the cases and articulated their policy on social media.

He added: “Since I was elected in 2012 I have been pleased that Wiltshire Police has made clear to officers and staff that they must follow the force social media policy.

“I am satisfied that the chief constable and his senior colleagues have clearly communicated to officers and staff their responsibilities.”