Carlos Fernández Guerra: Spain's 'chief constable of Twitter' stands down after increasing Policía Nacional's followers to 1.75m

By comparison the American FBI has accumulated a paltry 1.24 million followers, and London's Metropolitan Police can count just 332,000

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He has every claim to be Spain’s most effective policeman – despite never having made a single arrest, nor cracking a single cold case.

Carlos Fernández Guerra is the chief constable of Twitter, propelling Spanish police into the social media stratosphere with his online strategy.

Since taking on the job of managing the @policia account in 2009, Mr Fernández Guerra has grown its ranks of followers to an impressive 1.75 million, with an average of 2,000 joining up each day. By comparison the American FBI has accumulated a paltry 1.24 million followers, and the Metropolitan Police in London can count just 332,000.

The former journalist has also extended the police’s reach to other areas of the web, attracting 300,000 Facebook likes and more than 50,000 followers on Instagram.

 

But all good hashtags must come to an end, and Mr Fernández Guerra has posted his last missive for the Policía Nacional. Instead, he has been poached by the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola to be its new head of “digital affairs and social media,” almost certainly for a good deal more money than the police were paying the 41-year-old.

“I have fulfilled a childhood dream, to work with the police,” Mr Fernández Guerra told El Pais newspaper on his last day at the force. “I did that for 10 years, but there are different periods in life and you also need to know when to close the door on them.”

And it’s obvious why the Bilbao-based group has brought him on board. With a pitiful 26,000 people following its Spanish language Twitter account, it will be hoping that Mr Fernández Guerra will be able to add a bit of spark to its online presence.

“I have been offered an exceptional project with a great company that also wants to get closer to its customers,” he said. “I am attracted to this new challenge.”

He leaves behind a team of eight at the Policía Nacional, which deals with 50,000 requests on Twitter each year– one wonders how many OMGs there were in the office when he told colleagues he was leaving.

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