Sir Robert Peel’s Social Media Principles of Modern Policing #SMDAY

Mashable Social Media Day 2014

To honor the 5th Mashable Social Media Day, I thought it would be fun to re-write Sir Robert Peel‘s,  “Peel’s Principles of Modern Policing” with a social media focus. Enjoy.

Social Peelian Principle 1

The primary objective for policing efforts through their social media presence must be that of educating and informing the public to assist them in protecting themselves from becoming victims of crime and avoiding conflict.

Social Peelian Principle 2

Police use of social media must at all times consider the public perception of their activities first ensuring those activities are never used to embarrass, humiliate or belittle the public.

Social Peelian Principle 3 

Police use of social media must convey their presence in the best interest of their community with the end user value placed as the paramount reason for posting information.

Social Peelian Principle 4

Using social media as a threat to induce action or as a tool to convey false information in an attempt to sway opinion or involvement will cause a public backlash in the social space and must never occur.

Social Peelian Principle 5

Social media should at all times must be used to strengthen the police commitment to their support of existing laws and regulations and never to pander to the opinion of individuals when the greater good for all is at stake.

Social Peelian Principle 6

Any event where physical confrontation may be anticipated, police must use social media to give warnings, advice and clear legal rules surrounding authorized and justifiable use of force to ensure that every means to avoid conflict are well articulated and that peaceful interactions are the ultimate quest.

Social Peelian Principle 7

The police should at all times share the interests of the public and the public should share the interests of the police when a greater benefit to all can be realized. Both the public and the police must work to solve the problems of the other for they are truly the same.

Social Peelian Principle 8 

Social media is a support mechanism and communication tool for front-line policing and can be utilized as a service multiplier to increase the effectiveness of face-to-face interactions and investigations.  The rules that apply to all aspects of policing must also apply to the use of social media.

Social Peelian Principle 9

The ultimate goal of the police use of social media should be that of constantly moving the community towards less reliance on policing to provide safety, security and service due to an absence of crime through education, awareness and self insulation from crime, criminal activity and disorder management.


Sir Robert Peel

About Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including, IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing and crisis communications. Tim is available to assist you with your social media program and communication. Click here to contact him
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5 Responses to Sir Robert Peel’s Social Media Principles of Modern Policing #SMDAY

  1. Randy Schmidt says:

    Hi Tim,

    Excellent post and principles on social media. Robert Peel and his key associates were also genius,

    Rand Schmidt

  2. hessiej says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Great stuff from my friend Tim Burrows, who understands how to leverage social media to bridge the gap between police services and the the public.

  3. Pingback: Powering up your presence with partners | Walking the Social Media Beat

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