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Suffolk police’s ‘Tweetathon’ meets with ‘overwhelming’ public response

PUBLISHED: 17:54 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:14 14 December 2017

Officers have been tweeting details of the calls they receive. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Officers have been tweeting details of the calls they receive. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Archant

Suffolk police have reported an “overwhelmingly positive response” to their 24-hour “Tweetathon”, which was held to give the public a glimpse at the range of calls officers face on a daily basis.

An example of some of the police tweets. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE/TWITTERAn example of some of the police tweets. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE/TWITTER

The initiative, which got underway at 7am today, saw control room officers tweet basic information about the calls they receive, as long as it did not interfere with regular policing duties.

Chief Inspector Matt Rose, who is coordinating the Tweetathon, said: “The feedback that we’ve been getting has been overwhelmingly positive – it’s been a really rewarding experience.”

The idea for the Tweetathon came following the success of a similar venture in 2015.

By 4pm today, Chief Insp Rose said the control room had received 325 calls, including 90 999 emergency calls.

An example of some of the police tweets. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE/TWITTERAn example of some of the police tweets. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE/TWITTER

The officers’ tweets had gained thousands of impressions with hundreds of people engaging with the posts.

“We work really hard to keep Suffolk safe and we are very proud what we do,” Chief Insp Rose added.

“This is a nice opportunity to show off what we do, particularly as a lot of our work goes on behind close doors and so people are unaware of it.”

The Tweetathon has also helped show how many of the calls received by the control room could have been better directed through other channels – either the police website or via partner agencies.

Officers have also used the Tweetathon to highlight some of the force’s key public messages in the build up to Christmas.

These include messages about drink driving to festive party-goers and how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

A high volume of calls were received today about bag snatchers and purse thefts – which is a key concern in the busy Christmas shopping period. The Tweetathon is set to continue until 7am tomorrow and Chief Insp Rose said he expected the public engagement to continue throughout.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is running a similar initiative tomorrow, a “Winter Twitterthon” to coincide with what emergency services dub “Black Friday”.

The day is traditionally known as Black Friday because of its connection with Christmas parties and nights out. Last year, the service took 3,276 calls.

The Twitterthon can be followed by using #24HoursinEoE and starts at 6.30am.

Suffolk Constabulary’s Tweetathon continues until 7am via its Twitter page @SuffolkPolice.

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