Twitters reach 10,000

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More than 10,000 people are now following Derbyshire Constabulary on the social network site Twitter.

The force launched its Twitter site in the summer of 2009 and uses it to share news, appeals and information with followers. Officers also tweet details of special operations or days of action.

Last week, police in Glossop and New Mills used Twitter to give residents an insight into a series of drugs warrants and vehicle checks in the town.

Derbyshire police hosted Tweet on the Beat last Halloween, where officers on patrol in Derby kept residents up-to-date with details of incidents they were attending. Calls for service coming into the control room from across the county were also shared on Twitter.

Live tweets were posted during metal theft strike days last Autumn and when police raided businesses in Derby last April as part of an operation targeting the stolen goods market, the results were shared with Twitter followers throughout the day.

Force web manager Ben Sherwin said: “The fact that so many people now follow us on Twitter shows its emerging popularity. It’s an important tool for getting information to the public quickly and we will continue to develop it both as an outlet for sharing news and as a way of updating followers in the event of a major incident.”

During the disorder in parts of England last August, Derbyshire police used Twitter to reassure residents that no incidents had been reported in the county. It also used to the site to dispel rumours of disorder which were circulating online.

In November, the force used the site as a way of keeping residents living in Breaston and surrounding areas up-to-date about a large factory fire, when smoke was spreading to neighbouring homes.

Mr Sherwin added: “Twitter is just one of many ways we communicate with people online. More than 2,200 people are now following us on Facebook and all the latest news and appeals are posted on the force website.”