POLICE in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are so concerned about sensational accounts of criminal activity appearing on social networks that they are launching their own Twitter account.
Strathclyde Police is the first police force in the United Kingdom to harness the site in this way – after top brass identified a need to provide factual and up-to-date information on attention-grabbing incidents.
And it is all set be rolled across this area in a bid to set the record straigh.
A claim that a child has been abducted is just one example of ‘information’ which can can spark panic locally – regardless of whether this has any basis in fact.
The News has even seen reports via Facebook that a victim of a serious assault in Kildrum had DIED – when in fact the man has survived the attack in question.
Police now want to tackle the problem by giving each inspector a twitter account which will bear both their name and photograph.
These individual accounts will give locals factual accounts of incidents – while addressing the public in a jargon-free language they can understand.
Rob Shorthouse who is Strathclyde Police’s director of Corporate Communications said that the time was right to take this course of action. He said: “If we’re going to be part of this medium we’ve got to use it in the way people are using it.”
“This gives us an opportunity to rebut some of these rumours doing the rounds, or say ‘yeah there is a problem with vandalism in this area and two people got nicked last night’.”
“ Therefore it is hoped that by engaging with the public through this medium the police can provide additional reassurance about what is really happening in their area,” he added.