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Should Police Tweet Emergency Calls?

Police in the Surrey, UK region are considering using Twitter to report emergency calls that come into the station as part of their Twitter Week. Is this a smart move to get citizens more involved with their local police station, or divulging too much information?

As part of Twitter Week, which runs from now until July 17th, Surrey Police are currently using Twitter to report car crimes. And according to Elmbridge Today, they’re considering expanding their Twitter use to tweeting 999 (which is similar to 911) calls, too.

Currently, the police force is tweeting stolen and broken into car information in the hopes that it raises public awareness about their own car safety as well as maybe connects with a member of the public who has information about a stolen vehicle. They have tweeted about a bag and a purse which were stolen from a van in Elmbridge, and other things stolen out of a van in Esher.

However, during a live Twitter chat on Monday, Superintendent Duncan Greenhalgh answered questions about how they plan to use Twitter in the future, and speculated that they might start tweeting 999 calls over a 24 hour period.

This is something that other police forces have done in the past, including the Vancouver P.D.. The justification for this type of tweeting is to give the public some insight into how a police station works, and what type (and volume) of calls they field each day.

However, critics wonder if a move like this might cause the public to panic, especially if a crime occurred nearby.

What do you think? Is this a cool social media move that can connect citizens to the police who serve them? Or does it just reveal more information than the public wants – or needs – to know? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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