Busting cannabis factories, arresting burglars and dealing with anti-social behaviour are a police officer’s lot – and Birmingham officers used Twitter to give the public a glimpse behind the badge.
For 24 hours, officers from Birmingham South policing unit posted messages on the Twitter website, detailing a day in the life of the city’s bobbies.
The tweets revealed that during one typical day, four men were arrested on suspicion of burgling a house in Edgbaston after traffic officers intercepted a Subaru in Stirchley.
They were later released on police bail pending further inquiries after questioning.
Officers also swooped on a house in Stirchley after a tip-off to find a cannabis factory inside, with maturing plants and expensive growing equipment. One man was arrested at the scene.
Police and dog handlers were also dispatched to Bartley Green to deal with a man armed with a knife.
Another tweet, at about 10pm, revealed that a drunk male has called 999 to report he was locked out of his hotel and needed help to get in.
Police chiefs hoped the experiment would show the public the day-to-day duties of police and the kind of issues they routinely had to deal with.
Over the 24-hour period, officers attended 251 calls for service, a little fewer than a normal. By the end of the tweet-a-thon, there were 1,063 members of the public who had signed up for the updates on the police work.
Supt Tim Godwin, from Birmingham South Police, said: “I hope this initiative has given people a real flavour of the kind of work police are involved in every day.
“We dealt with a range of issues, including drugs warrants, anti-social behaviour, burglary and vehicle crime and arrested a number of individuals. We were also able to provide our followers with a range of crime prevention advice.
“Twitter provided us with an opportunity to demonstrate what we are doing, and the feedback we have had so far indicates that people have been really receptive to our tweets.”
A log of all the tweets from the exercise can be found here.
* Warwickshire fire and rescue has become the latest service to tweet updates to the community.
Information about key services, including free home fire safety checks and advice, as well as incidents, will now be uploaded to Twitter.
Gary Phillips, deputy chief fire officer, said: “The updates will be daily, and because Twitter is instant, we will now be able to provide up to the minute safety advice to residents should a major incident happen near their home, or place of work.”