Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 11:25 UK

No more action over police blog

Blogger
No further action will be taken against the detective

A serving detective who criticised police bureaucracy in an award-winning blog has been allowed to keep his job.

Lancashire Constabulary said no further action would be taken against Det Con Richard Horton, who was unmasked in a High Court case on Tuesday.

He has been given a written warning for posting messages about his work under the pseudonym Night Jack.

A force spokeswoman said on Wednesday he would not be disciplined further "unless anything else came out".

"We have conducted a full internal investigation and the officer accepts that parts of his public commentary have fallen short of the standards of professional behaviour we expect of our police officers," she added.

Det Con Horton is believed to be an officer with the force's Eastern and Pennine division.

The director of the Orwell prize said the detective's blog was "completely riveting"

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Eady refused an injunction to prevent the Times newspaper identifying the writer of the popular Night Jack blog.

The judge said said blogging was "essentially a public rather than a private activity".

Det Con Horton's lawyer had argued that preserving his anonymity was in the public interest.

In his blog, Night Jack - An English Detective, the officer chronicled his working life in an unnamed UK town with descriptions of local criminals and his struggle with police bureaucracy.

His writings contained opinions about a number of social and political issues relating to the police and the administration of justice, the court heard.

Det Con Horton won an Orwell prize for his blog in April, but the site has now been taken down.

'Chilling' judgement

A message on the site's homepage reads: "The authors have deleted this blog. The content is no longer available."

Jean Seaton, director of the prize, praised Night Jack's "insight" and said the blog had "shone out" during the judging process.

She said: "All the judges could do was say 'this writing, as it stood, really did those things that George Orwell did. They told us the truth and they were well written, and they gave us an insight into something'."

Drawing a parallel with Orwell's work, Ms Seaton described the high court judgement as "puzzling" and "actually very chilling".

"People are less likely to tell us what's going on in their firms, in their bit of the health service, in their schools and in their universities because of this kind of judgement," she said.

Det Con Horton's lawyer, Dan Tench, said his client would not be making any comment following the High Court judgement.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Chichester Observer No action against 'unmasked' police blogger - 40 hrs ago
Channel 4 News No further action against blogger - 47 hrs ago
The Independent 'Unmasked' police blogger escapes further action - 48 hrs ago
Thelondonpaper Police blogger is outed and warned - 59 hrs ago



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