19:23 Sunday 09 February 2014

'Don't be a Twit' police plea over crime calls

Written byROB SMYTH

PCSO Dave McMillan and award PCSO Dave McMillan and award

POLICE are urging people to make sure that serious incidents are called through to the force and not sent in via social networking sites.

Derybshire Police made the plea after a rise in the number of people trying to use services such as Twitter and Facebook rather than use more traditional methods such as 999 or 101.

Incidents such as a burglary in Melbourne and a bike theft in Repton were among some of the crimes being reported via the online medium.

Officers have said that they would prefer people to use its Twitter accounts to learn about details of daily patrols, operations they take part in and to receive crime prevention advice.

A spokesman for the force said: “We would like to reinforce that any incidents should be phoned straight through to 101 or 999 and not via Twitter.

“Our call centre staff are highly trained and they are a real one stop shop when it comes to dealing with police enquiries.

“Always ring 999 in an emergency. An emergency is where there is a crime in progress, or an immediate threat to life or property.”

The prevalence of Twitter has been boosted recently after PCSOs who police Melbourne, Hilton, Etwall, Findern, Willington, Ticknall, Repon, Bretby, Swadlincote, Woodville and Church Gresley began to use social network to keep residents up-to-date with a host of matters.

The officers, including PCSO Dave McMillan, share a host of details including appeals for information about crime.

Derbyshire Police launched its Twitter site in the summer of 2009 and uses it to share news, appeals and information with followers.

A spokesman for the force told the Mail: “These Twitter accounts provide officers with an excellent opportunity to share information directly with local residents.

“They allow the teams to quickly communicate with their followers.

“We hope residents take up the opportunity to follow the officers who patrol their area daily.”

To follow the teams, head to twitter and search for @MelbourneSNT, @MerciaSNT, @HiltonEtwallSNT, @SwadTownSNT, @GresleySNT, @WoodvilleSNT, @NhallMwaySNT and @SwadRuralSNT.

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