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Isle of Man Constabulary's latest recruit will be on the virtual beat 24 hours a day

Monday, 12 May 2014

@tweetbeatIOM is the Isle of Man Constabulary’s latest recruit in its efforts to maintain community safety and keep people up to date with important information.

This new digital presence, which has been described as ‘the most exciting development of social media in policing today’, will be on the virtual beat providing real help, advice and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It is being introduced as a pilot from Monday 12 May, with an official launch on Friday 23 May to coincide with the start of TT Practice Week.

The pioneering initiative will enable the owners of smart phones, internet enabled personal computers, tablets or laptops to have immediate ‘interactive’ access to the Manx police.

@tweetbeatIOM will be patrolled by a serving police officer, as part of their other daily operational policing duties, and goes beyond a simple Twitter message or Facebook update by offering a fully integrated approach to public information and crime prevention that is designed to stand out from the crowd.

Using the traffic lights system, followers will be immediately alerted to the significance of a tweet or update. Green is for information, amber for alerts, and red for warnings and appeals.

Many tweets will be supported by audio clips. Short messages will allow the user to listen to important information about incidents such as road traffic collisions and diversions and missing or wanted people.

@tweetbeatIOM will provide advice, support and assistance to keep people informed of a range of crime prevention initiatives including, on occasion, the location of speed traps to assist the enforcement of speed limits. So, if you are caught for speeding, then you are not following @tweetbeatIOM

In addition to highlighting real-time incidents, regular @tweetbeatIOM clinics will focus on specific crime-related issues. During these planned digital events, the Isle of Man Constabulary and its partners will address a wide range of subjects, from domestic violence to stalking, harassment, cyberbullying and online safety.

The launch of @tweetbeatIOM continues the Isle of Man Constabulary’s ground-breaking use of new media, which saw it shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in the use of Technology’ category at the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence 2013.

Its successful digital presence works in tandem with the Constabulary’s long-standing neighbourhood policing approach to help prevent crime and protect vulnerable members of the local community.

Chief Constable Gary Roberts said:

‘We are determined that the Constabulary’s use of social media will not diminish our traditional commitment to face-to-face communication, but will build on our very real police presence. By integrating Twitter and Facebook in a more structured and responsive way I believe we will enhance the service we provide.’

He added:

‘@tweetbeatIOM will be visible. Follow us and we will tell you where we are, what we are doing and respond directly to you when you need our help. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked with us to build this strategy, not least the young people and community representatives who gave so freely of their time.’

Jim Gamble QPM, Chief Executive Officer of INEQE and founding Chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, said:

‘I believe this is the most exciting development of social media in policing today. The range of digital tools, resources and trained officers, combined with the 24/7 patrol commitment breaks new ground. It means no one with access to technology will be isolated from police support where and when they need it.’

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