11:00am Saturday 5th May 2012
Wiltshire Police are turning to social networking in a bid to reach out to the public.
The force’s new Twitter site is already proving popular with the public in the Marlborough area, said PCSO Jon Mills, who runs the Wiltshire East police Twitter.
The Wiltshire force – motto Primus et Optimus (First and Best) – may be the oldest in the country but its officers are turning more and more to the latest social networking technology to get information out to the public and receive helpful responses.
The force hopes to boost its Twitter followers when officers commit to a week of ‘tweeting’, starting on May 14.
The Wiltshire Police official Twitter account – @wiltshirepolice – reached more than 4,400 followers on Tuesday this week; and it has several other feeds, including a dedicated Criminal Invest-igation Department account – @cidwiltspolice – and several run by local neighbourhood policing teams like Marlborough’s.
Wiltshire’s deputy chief constable Mike Veale will begin the week on May 14, tweeting throughout the day to give followers a taste of what his role at the top of the force entails. It is intended that this will be followed by tweets from a detective, a PCSO, a forensic examiner and even a drugs dog called Griffin – with a little bit of help from his handler.
A force spokesman said: “We are hoping this week of tweeting will kick-start it and see us reach more people. Since last February, when we had just 140 followers, it has soared to 4,400.
“We have a busy summer ahead and will be looking to tweet from events like the Olympic torch relay and the jubilee.”
PCSO Mills said Twitter and Facebook were increasingly becoming useful tools for the police.
He said: “We do get people interacting with it, especially on Facebook where we get a lot of helpful comments.”
He said one recent case involved a car that police believed was being driven around Ramsbury with no tax and insurance – a Twitter appeal yielded several tweets that helped with the police inquiry.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group