Sergeant explains how Twitter and Facebook have changed the face of modern policing
A BOLTON police officer will speak on national radio about the benefits of social media.
Sgt Martin Lally, from Bolton North Neighbourhood Policing Team, is among officers from Greater Manchester Police who will feature on the Radio 4 documentary, to be broadcast today.
The programme will include officers from Bolton, Manchester city centre, Chorlton and Rochdale.
Sgt Lally said: “I said that social media has not replaced the bobby on the street, it is just another tool for police to use to reach out to the communities that we serve. It is a great way for us to get a message out quickly if we need public support or help.
"It also helps us to build a rapport and show the community that we are not just a faceless organisation and people can ask questions of us.”
He stressed social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have helped police with investigations.
Sgt Lally said: “We have used social media for investigations and have used it in connection with wanted people.”
He added that getting the word out there has had positive results.
Sgt Lally said: “We have had a very positive response to the use of social media in Bolton. We get a few people who make derogatory comments saying we should be spending time on the streets rather than on Facebook but we challenge anything inappropriate.”
The Force believes getting information out to the community helps to build trust with police and get out key messages. Social media for the police is managed by a combination of operation support officers and officers.
The programme will be broadcast at 11am today.
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