Twitter interview with 'banned' @TopshamPolice officer
In May this year www.thisisexeter.co.uk conducted a brief Twitter interview with PCSO Sarah Giles (@TopshamPolice) on the use of the social media platform in her job as Police Community Support Officer.
Since the interview it has been alleged that following a complaint from The University of Exeter Students' Guild over tweets about the policing of students PCSO Giles has been instructed to cease tweeting and close her account.
Below is the interview with answers kept brief due to the 240 character limit:
ThisIsExeter (@thisis_exeter): Why did you decide to join Twitter in the first place?
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PCSO Sarah Giles (@TopshamPolice): The Police are very keen to use social networking as an engagement tool for local and national use.
@thisis_exeter: How do you use Twitter in your average working day?
@TopshamPolice: To inform, alert, give words of advice and chat. Missing persons info and patrol updates.
@thisis_exeter: What is the best aspect of Twitter for your job?
@TopshamPolice: It's a fast and easy way of getting feedback as well as maintain a "presence" even when not on patrol.
@thisis_exeter: Have you ever used Twitter to prevent a crime? If so do you have an example?
@TopshamPolice: Circulating photos of wanted individuals has had success in various forces.
@thisis_exeter: How do you see social media being used in the future amongst police?
@TopshamPolice: It needs to be used ALONGSIDE patrol and real life engagement – it's a means to an end but not the only means.
@thisis_exeter: Finally how much do you have to watch what you say when Tweeting?
@TopshamPolice: Don't say anything you wouldn't say while out on patrol. Always think about Data Protection issues and check your facts.
See the full article on the Twitter ban here.