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Officer Twitter account reinstated

The Twitter account of a police inspector with an interest in mental health issues has been reinstated after an internal inquiry by his force.

Michael Brown, who tweets as @MentalHealthCop and has almost 17,000 followers on the social media site, had his account suspended by West Midlands Police last week.

In a statement, the force said: "A West Midlands Police officer has accepted informal advice following an internal investigation into misuse of a social media account.

"The account, @MentalHealthCop - a twitter and blog site managed by a response inspector with a keen interest in mental health issues - was suspended on February 14 following allegations of inappropriate use of direct messaging and social media.

"A swift professional standards investigation established that the officer accepted there had been some inappropriate use and informal advice was given."

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: "I and my colleagues at West Midlands Police are proud of our social media endeavours, working closely with officers and staff to engage and communicate in new and innovative ways.

"As with any organisation which communicates with the public, we have to ensure that there are parameters around the way information is shared, particular when that information can be sensitive.

"I am pleased that this issue has been resolved in a speedy manner to the satisfaction of those directly involved."

Mr Brown is well-regarded by mental health experts and his online blog, which he set up in 2011, won the national mental health charity Mind's 2012 digital media award.

On his Twitter feed he has written regularly about policing and mental health issues, posting more than 49,000 tweets.

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