Police get online with social media

Area Commander Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney and Leader editor John Hooks
Area Commander Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney and Leader editor John Hooks

LOCAL police have embraced the world of social media and say “it’s going really well”.

Banbridge PSNI are on Twitter and Facebook and Area Commander Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney, who met with the Leader at one of our editorial clinics last week, said people are engaging to great effect.

The page, which was set up around a month ago, has more than 500 ‘likes’ and plenty of conversation around local crime as well as events happening in the area.

While the page is used mainly for posting information about road closures and crime updates police said they want to make it clear it is definitely not somewhere people should report crime especially in emergency situations.

The site is not monitored 24/7 meaning people should still use the emergency and non-emergency numbers when they are seeking police assistance.

The page is often somewhere people can ask questions of their local officers and Neighbourhood teams whether it is about the Hillsborough Oyster Festival or crime prevention advice.

But it is also a forum for police to let people know where and when they’re on patrol and about any significant arrests they make.

During one night on patrol last month police alerted Facebook users to an arrest they had made for drink-driving - people were quick to praise the arrest.

Following riots on the Scarva Road in early August police were able to update people on arrests and the situation following the trouble.

A police spokesperson said, “The Facebook and Twitter pages are going really well. People can ask non-emergency questions and officers get back to them.

“We see it as a really good way to engage with people and let them know of our work in the local area.”