STAFFORDSHIRE Police are being investigated over naming and shaming suspected drink-drivers on Twitter, before they appeared in court.

The force posted the names of dozens of motorists charged with the offence alongside the hashtag #DrinkDriversNamedOnTwitter on the social network site during its Christmas crackdown.

Tweets have now been deleted as the campaign has come to an end but throughout December, the names were visible to more than 26,000 people who follow the force's Twitter account.

Following a complaint, the national Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched an investigation to decide whether the tweets breached the Data Protection Act.

An ICO spokesman said: "We are currently investigating whether tweeting names alongside that hashtag fits with the Data Protection Act’s fair and lawful processing principle.”

Assistant Chief Constable Julian Blazeby confirmed that the force had been approached by the ICO in relation to the drink driving campaign and added: "They asked us to provide information on some elements of the campaign and we will be providing a full response to the questions they have asked."