Issued by North Yorkshire Police

North Yorkshire Police will be joining police forces around the world in a global Twitter event this weekend.

For a 24-hour period starting at 8am on Friday 22 March 2013, the force will join colleagues in the UK, the USA, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Australia and New Zealand to tweet reported incidents and police work taking place across York and North Yorkshire.

Members of the public will be able to get an insight into the varied work of the police during a typical 24-hours.

Chief Inspector Ian Thompson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room, said: “Social media has many advantages for emergency services and assists the day-to-day work of the police. It is free, almost instant, and enables the police to get clear information out to our communities within minutes.

“It also provides another way for us to engage with members of the public and helps us reach different audiences in addition to our other methods of communication, such as traditional media, community meetings, drop-in sessions, phone calls, leaflets and posters.”

North Yorkshire Police use social media to great effect, including helping to locate missing people, investigating crime, issuing public information and crime prevention advice.

It is also a speedy tool to help us circulate information about ongoing incidents such as road closures, major incidents and other civil emergencies such as flooding when “warning and informing” the public is absolutely crucial.

A recent case dealt with by North Yorkshire Police highlights just how effective social media can be. A vulnerable, elderly man who suffered from Alzheimer’s was recently reported missing to North Yorkshire Police.

The Force Control Room circulated his description through the force’s Twitter and Facebook feeds and a member of the public recognised him, called the police and within hours of being reported missing, he was reunited with his concerned family.

Paul Richardson, who is a Deployment Manager in the Force Control Room, has pioneered the use of social media direct from the control room and has been instrumental in organising the 24-hour tweet for North Yorkshire Police.

He said: “We have used Twitter for a number of years now, and have several officers and teams who use it across the force in addition to our official force account. However, we have never taken part in a 24-hour event such as this which we are very excited about.

“We hope to learn from colleagues and users all around the world who will be taking part on the day. We are very keen to develop our operational use of social media to help provide a better service to the communities of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

“We hope local people join us during what is a first for North Yorkshire Police and get an insight into the very varied, often challenging, and sometimes dangerous work of your local police force.”

Follow us @NYorksPolice using the hashtag #poltwt.

Other forces taking part can be found by searching hashtag #poltwt or by following this link.


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