Police defend use of Twitter

First published in News by

WILTSHIRE Police has defended its use of Twitter following criticism by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor.

During a meeting of the public administration select committee, Mr Winsor suggested that officers using social media should be doing something more productive than updating the community of their work on websites such as Twitter or Facebook.

He said: “Those who participate in social media and blogs and so on are people who’ve got time on their hands.”

Inspector Lisette Harvey, sector commander for Trow-bridge and Bradford on Avon, said that Twitter is a useful way of connecting with the public and keeping them informed of their operations.

She said: “It is a fantastic resource and only takes 20 seconds to give out crime prevention messages, updates on police activities and road closures which all aid the public.

“Tom Winsor said that we must have time on our hands to use Twitter but the vast majority of my tweets are done off-duty, at the start of the working day or if I arrive early for meetings.”

Insp Harvey cited a Twitter appeal warning the community about Allan Campbell, 39, of no fixed abode, who broke into narrowboats along the Kennet and Avon Canal. In October, he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail.

Insp Harvey said: “The warning and a picture of him got sent across the country and this rapid communication is invaluable.”

A lawyer by profession, Mr Winsor was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in October 2012. He is the first holder of that role to come from a non-policing background.

Insp Harvey and her two sergeants Jim Suter and James Brain based at Trow-bridge Police Station have more than 1,500 followers between them.

The officers’ accounts are @LisetteHarvey, @SgtJimSuter and @Sgt2517Brain, if anyone would like to follow them on Twitter.

Comments (4)

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10:41am Sun 19 Jan 14

The.Central.Scrutinizer says...

He said: “Those who participate in social media and blogs and so on are people who’ve got time on their hands.”

This is one of the most ludicrous and rude comments anyone can make. Firstly no-one has any more time in a day than anyone else.
Participation in social media does not by definition take a long time, and often requires a few seconds only.
This bloke should mind his own schedule and also do a bit more investigation before making oafish comments.about our county police force.
He said: “Those who participate in social media and blogs and so on are people who’ve got time on their hands.” This is one of the most ludicrous and rude comments anyone can make. Firstly no-one has any more time in a day than anyone else. Participation in social media does not by definition take a long time, and often requires a few seconds only. This bloke should mind his own schedule and also do a bit more investigation before making oafish comments.about our county police force. The.Central.Scrutinizer
  • Score: 1

4:56pm Sun 19 Jan 14

mhudston says...

Sounds like the person with too much time on his hands is a curtain Mr Windsor. As a frequent vocal critic of Wiltshire Police on Social Media, I think their use of Facebook and Twitter are one of the few things I do not have a problem with them doing.

Twitter and Facebook is the Media of today, so is one of the best ways of getting out appeals and information.

Its Mr Windsor (Who is he anyway/ - Sounds like someone who is stuck in the 70's) needs to wake up to the modern world.
Sounds like the person with too much time on his hands is a curtain Mr Windsor. As a frequent vocal critic of Wiltshire Police on Social Media, I think their use of Facebook and Twitter are one of the few things I do not have a problem with them doing. Twitter and Facebook is the Media of today, so is one of the best ways of getting out appeals and information. Its Mr Windsor (Who is he anyway/ - Sounds like someone who is stuck in the 70's) needs to wake up to the modern world. mhudston
  • Score: 4

10:31pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Supertaff says...

Tom Winsor is very wrong. He doesn't understand how fast communication via Facebook and twitter is part and parcel of modern society. How many pieces of vital information have been shared regarding flooding, ice, road issues etc by twitter that I would never have seen or noticed otherwise.

He should also take a look at the value twitter has given for disasters around the world before he makes stupid comments.

I bet he still has an abacus on his desk and no mobile phone.
Tom Winsor is very wrong. He doesn't understand how fast communication via Facebook and twitter is part and parcel of modern society. How many pieces of vital information have been shared regarding flooding, ice, road issues etc by twitter that I would never have seen or noticed otherwise. He should also take a look at the value twitter has given for disasters around the world before he makes stupid comments. I bet he still has an abacus on his desk and no mobile phone. Supertaff
  • Score: 3

7:02am Mon 20 Jan 14

politepanda says...

Mr Winsor looking to justify further Police cuts? Out of touch, out of reach and out of control. A complete numpty. And an insensitive one too - had the gall to turn up at Police Memorial Day in a Police UNIFORM!!
Mr Winsor looking to justify further Police cuts? Out of touch, out of reach and out of control. A complete numpty. And an insensitive one too - had the gall to turn up at Police Memorial Day in a Police UNIFORM!! politepanda
  • Score: 2

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