Police Departments Take Note – Start Tweeting

Note: This post was originally written for Emerson Social Media

Today in the UK, West Midlands Police started tweeting results from court cases in the Birmingham Magistrate Court. This is in an effort to educate the public on the type of court cases that go through the system on a regular basis.

According to The Next Web, local press recently had to reduce the amount of coverage it gave to local court hearings due to constraints on their budgets and not having the number of people available. Through tweeting the rulings, the West Midlands Police hopes to increase the amount of coverage given to the cases and garner interest.

In some ways, this is an example of what social media has done. It has almost eliminated the need for traditional news reporting, and it gives the public a much needed source of information.

On the other hand, does this violate any privacy of the people involved in these crimes? To me, not really. The public has a right to know what cases go through their local system and if they’re reported on traditionally, they can be reported on via social media.

In my local community, Boston, we have our own version of the @WMPolice Twitter handle, aka @Boston_Police.

The Boston Police Department tweets about local crime and happenings around the Boston area. If there was a robbery, shooting, death etc, you will know about it. Although they don’t tweet about court rulings, they make sure that you know anything and everything going on in Boston.

Personally, I believe that police departments tweeting can only be a good thing. It lets us know important information quickly.

What do you think about police departments tweeting?

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