Ignoring, tolerating or embracing? Social media use in European police forces

  • Saskia P. Bayerl
  • Gabriele Jacobs
  • Kate Horton


Almost demonstrating the fast pace of change of emerging police issues, social media has been becoming an increasingly challenging and complex topic for police forces in Europe and elsewhere during the last few years. Police officers are confronted with the emergence of a new virtual public sphere and they must try to deal with it in a diverse and sometimes quite contested ways. The authors of this paper have conducted a study to better understand the disparate attitudes towards social media in European police forces and their underlying reasons. They aim to obtain a clearer picture of current social media usage and the degree of general acceptance within European police forces. They report on their findings from the Europe-wide project ‘Comparative Police Studies in the EU’ (COMPOSITE) in which they asked police officers from different European countries about their attitudes towards social media. All in all this contribution has the ability to meet contemporary and future expected challenges of policing as a result of technological advance and its consequences for changes in our societies. It can be seen as a strong motivation for further research in this fast-growing environment.

How to Cite
Bayerl, S., Jacobs, G., & Horton, K. (2017). Ignoring, tolerating or embracing? Social media use in European police forces. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (2), 295-308. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/233