Bobbies on the Tweet
DUMBARTON and Alexandria police are taking a step into 21st century communication - through the use of Twitter.
Bobbies on the beat throughout the area will now be able to tweet the latest updates through the social networking site, ensuring communities are better informed about what's going on
And police chiefs believe Twitter will help reach a whole new generation of computersavvy youngsters
Andy Hutton, Dumbarton and Vale Community Inspector, told the Reporter: "We're embracing social networking and we have a number of followers
I think that we have to move with the times
"There's a whole generation out there who don't really read newspapers or watch the news on TV and they interact using Facebook and Twitter
"They are an important part of the community and we need to reach them." Inspector Hutton also sees the site as a vital way for people to get in touch with police, whether it's to help them with enquiries or to inform them of an incident
He continued: "I think the immediacy of social networking can be useful, especially if there is a breaking issue
"And as an organisation maybe we could use it to alleviate peoples concerns and stop the rumour mill
"We can see great things coming from Twitter, maybe in appeals for witnesses." However, despite opening a line of communication with locals, Inspector Hutton stressed that Twitter should not become the main way in which Dumbarton residents get in touch with the police, particularly in an emergency
He continued: "It works both ways, but it is not for use in an emergency
If you have an emergency you should call 999." The new scheme is part of a new policing strategy that is being rolled out across West Dunbartonshire
Last month we revealed how Dumbarton and Alexandria's new top cop Chief Inspector Gail McClymont had vowed to put community policing teams back in to touch with the people they serve and have officers dedicated to mutli-member wards
She said: "We want to get them back to the community and solving problems in the area they are responsible for." Each ward in the town will now have its own sergeant to help ensure that local residents know who to get in touch with if they have any problems." For more information go to www.strathclyde
police.uk/your_community or follow Dumbarton police on Twitter by searching @ Strathpol62 and Helensburgh and Lomond police on @ Strathpol63.
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