Police on the beat swapped for police on the tweet

Police on the beat in Bolton

Police on the beat in Bolton

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

POLICE are replacing bobbies on the beat with bobbies sending tweets, a meeting was told.

But the police’s increasing use of social media was criticised at a Westhoughton Town Council planning meeting for failing to reach out to older people.

PCSO Keith Jackson, homewatch liaison officer, said it was impossible for officers to patroll everywhere, but the neighbourhood policing team was increasing-ly posting crime updates on Facebook and Twitter.

He added: “The most common complaint the police get is ‘You never see a bobby on my street’, but it is impossible for us to patrol everywhere.

“But through our Facebook and Twitter accounts, neighbourhood teams are posting what they are doing so you can see if they have been here or there.”

Cllr Colette Harkin questioned how useful the social media communications would be to older people. Mr Jackson told her patrols were sent to sheltered housing estates, distributing leaflets.

He also said police still had no suspects for the armed robberies in Market Street at Betfred on January 4 and the Co-op store on January 6.

Despite those raids, he said that the area’s crime levels were “very good compared to other areas”. Baseball-bat wielding robbers stole hundreds of pounds and threatened staff at Betfred before escaping on foot.

Two men, one armed with a screwdriver and the other with a bat, dragged a woman shop worker across the Co-op store by her hair, before kicking her in the ribs and stealing hundreds of pounds worth of cash and cigarettes.

Attempts to find the Co-op raiders were not helped by the announcement that four of the town council’s seven cameras in Market Street were not working at the time, while another was pointing the wrong way.

PCSO Jackson said: “The investigations are ongoing and there are no suspects at the moment.”

One of the men involved in the Betfred raid was six feet tall and wearing a grey hooded top with a balaclava covering his face.

The men behind the Co-op raid are understood to have fled in a dark Vauxhall estate car and were wearing dark clothing.

  • Anyone with information about either robbery should call police on 0161 8565619 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Comments (4)

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7:26am Fri 14 Feb 14

oftbewildered2 says...

sending police to sheltered housing to distribute leaflets is all very well - but not all old(er) people live in sheltered housing. I do not have a Twitter account and although I use FB I certainly would not know how to access the police site - or even think of the need to access it.. Perhaps a friendly PCSO can post a leaflet through my door to tell me about it. So I will continue to phone 101 or 999 as appropriate, set my intruder alarm when going out and rely on neighbours to keep an eye on things if I am away, as most older people do. Oh yes, and read BN on line to see what has happened (and the comments of course to see if this was considered to be fact or fiction!!!!!)
sending police to sheltered housing to distribute leaflets is all very well - but not all old(er) people live in sheltered housing. I do not have a Twitter account and although I use FB I certainly would not know how to access the police site - or even think of the need to access it.. Perhaps a friendly PCSO can post a leaflet through my door to tell me about it. So I will continue to phone 101 or 999 as appropriate, set my intruder alarm when going out and rely on neighbours to keep an eye on things if I am away, as most older people do. Oh yes, and read BN on line to see what has happened (and the comments of course to see if this was considered to be fact or fiction!!!!!) oftbewildered2
  • Score: 2

8:48am Fri 14 Feb 14

Regulatory Man says...

Okay - Which 'Twit' came up with the bright idea to tweet updates letting criminals know where they are. Criminals don't use twitter on their phones so won't know that you are looking and coming after them will they. Doh!
Okay - Which 'Twit' came up with the bright idea to tweet updates letting criminals know where they are. Criminals don't use twitter on their phones so won't know that you are looking and coming after them will they. Doh! Regulatory Man
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Fri 14 Feb 14

steveG says...

Tweeting and not beating will make plod a fat boy.
Tweeting and not beating will make plod a fat boy. steveG
  • Score: 3

10:10am Sat 15 Feb 14

Gore Seer says...

I Like Those Cardboard Police Crime 95% Down.
I Like Those Cardboard Police Crime 95% Down. Gore Seer
  • Score: 0

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