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Taxpayers Alliance criticise Twittering dog

September 10, 2010

You may have your own views on the benefits of Twitter and such sites, but let’s face it – they are here to stay and it’s a very cheap and convenient way of reaching out to people who don’t read newspapers.

We’ve been discussing in other places how this job doesn’t sell itself properly. People don’t really know what we do. They have their own ideas and make ill-informed judgements based on last week’s episode of The Bill and something that was in Juliet Bravo a few years ago.

West Midlands Police have been using social media for some time, trying to get people to take an interest in the day to day running of the force. Good or bad, there are loads of people following a number of officers of all ranks. Some of the “tweets” could do with a bit of a spell-checker running over them and not many are that exciting, but still – people are spreading the word about what we do.

One of the most popular Twitter contributors is Smithy – who is a police dog. Smithy probably has more followers than all the other police tweeters put together. You can see what Smithy has to say for himself by clicking this link.

The Taxpayers Alliance (are we all members by default?) have criticised this as being a “publicity stunt” and a “waste of money”

Read the story here

Smithy publishes two or three tweets a day. That probably accounts for two or three MINUTES of his time. Some of them are done off duty. So really, how is Smithy wasting resources? If the TPA really want to get sweaty about wasted money, why don’t they start at the Home Office? Policing Pledge ads and leaflets? Millions of pounds down the drain. ACPO plc? More money thrown away. I could go on.

Smithy is showing the human (?) side of the police – we have a sense of humour and it’s not all dry news releases on the latest theft of milk. Is it really unacceptable for us to take a few seconds out of a busy working day just to put a few words out there for interested parties to read?

I think the TPA might be a bit envious of the fact that Smithy has over 1400 people following him to date – growing exponentially, while the TPA have FOUR followers. Either that or they are part of the “Bash the Cops” agenda in the conventional media.

Go to Police Oracle forums to see what others think

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