Twitter feed reveals varied work of police

Pa
Thursday 14 October 2010 13:52

Users of the social networking site Twitter were being given a detailed insight into the workings of one of Britain's busiest police forces today.

Greater Manchester Police was tweeting every incident it deals with for 24 hours from 5am.

In the first six hours there were around 500 tweets sent out by the force, covering a wide range of incidents - from serious crime to the more mundane.

These included call 412 from a woman who asked for help to sue the Benefits Agency because she had no money.

And call 686 was a complaint that a man shouted "you're gorgeous" to woman.

Elsewhere, a team of officers were dispatched to a bridge following call 384 reporting concerns that a man was "dangling" a small baby over the edge.

When they arrived they found the man was simply carrying his dog in his arms because it has a fear of bridges.

Officers were also searching for a missing teenager who has previously vanished around 40 times before returning.

And there were scores of 999 calls from children playing with their parents' mobile phones.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy hopes today's exercise will enable the public - and politicians - to see what his officers deal with on a daily basis.

"Policing is often seen in very simple terms, with cops chasing robbers and locking them up," he said.

"However, the reality is that this accounts for only part of the work they have to deal with.

"A lot of what we do is dealing with social problems such as missing children, people with mental health problems and domestic abuse. Often these incidents can be incredibly complex and need a lot of time, resource and expertise.

"I am not saying that we shouldn't deal with these types of incidents, far from it, but what I am saying is that this work is not recognised in league tables and measurements - yet is a huge part of what we do."

The event comes as police face unprecedented budget cuts, with the Government's impending comprehensive spending review next week.

The incidents were being published on the following three accounts on Twitter. They are: http://twitter.com/gmp24Ë1, http://twitter.com/gmp24Ë2 and http://twitter.com/gmp24Ë3.

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