Greater Manchester Police conducted a 24-hour social media experiment. They tweeted every incident they dealt with during the time period in the hope of raising public awareness of the work they do.
From 05:00 British Standard Time on Thursday to 05:00 today, three Twitter accounts fed information about each and every call that was dealt with by the Greater Manchester Police force.
Their main Twitter account, @gmpolice, interfaced with the public and retweeted information from the other Twitter accounts that had been set up for the purpose. Calls that were tweeted ranged from mundane complaints being logged for domestic and neighbourhood disputes to more serious matters such as rape, murder and theft.
Follower numbers of the GM Police Twitter account shot up from 3,135 last Friday to over 15,000 today. What caught a lot of people’s attention was the number of ridiculous calls that the police seemed to deal with.
Callers complained about televisions that didn’t work, horses that wouldn’t go where their owners wanted them to and builders showing up two months late!
3,205 incident reports were tweeted during the 24 hour period. 341 arrests were made and 126 people were taken into custody during the same period.
Police forces have used Twitter in the past to monitor and clamp down on criminal activity. This is the first time that a police force has successfully used an online social medium to raise awareness of the work they do and gotten so many members of the public keenly interested.