Suffolk Constabulary will be hosting a 24-hour Tweetathon to offer an insight into the volume and range of demand its officers face on a typical day.
The event will be held on Thursday, December 14, and will run for 24 hours from 7am, with tweets issued from the Constabulary’s @SuffolkPolice account using #SuffolkLive.
A team of staff and office volunteers will be based in the control room, tweeting basic details of live calls as they come in as part of their shift where this does not have an impact on frontline policing. The aim will be to tweet information relating to as many 999 and 101 calls as possible.
Chief Inspector Matt Rose, who will be coordinating the event, said: “In this age of transparency, we wanted to offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into not only the breadth of calls we receive but to communicate the variety of work we do and highlight some of the successes and challenges of policing.
“On an average day our control room operators receive approximately 800 calls on a range of issues relating to mental health, vulnerability and requests for information, alongside calls reporting crime or from people needing urgent help.
“December is definitely one of our busiest months in terms of police resourcing and, particularly as the festive season approaches, we are urging the public to think about when they should call the police.
“This Tweetathon is a great way for us to actively engage with members of the public in a different way and highlight the reality of policing. Our tweets will not identify callers, but we hope they will provide an interesting insight into police activity and draw attention to which calls could have been directed to our website or those that could have been dealt with by partner agencies.”
It will be the second time Suffolk Police have chosen to hold a Tweetathon event; the first was in December 2015.
Ch Insp Rose continued: “The response last time was overwhelmingly positive, with people sharing, liking and commenting on our posts. It was reassuring to see so many people interested in what their police service does.
“We’re not looking to compete with figures of engagement from two years ago, but we do want to draw on the comparisons regarding the types of calls we receive and encourage people to really consider how they contact us.”
Those with non-emergency situations are urged to refer to the Constabulary website before calling 101, which holds a host of information: crime prevention advice, a reporting facility for non-injury road traffic collisions and incidents of anti-social behaviour, as well as details of how to contact the correct agency for queries around noisy neighbours, lost property such as pets, or road maintenance such as faulty traffic lights or potholes.
The website will not replace either 101 or 999, but offers members of the public with an additional option to report an incident.
Suffolk Police Crime and Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Getting an insight into the control room is a really good opportunity for everyone to see exactly what our police officers deal with on a day to day basis, and doing this in real-time makes this a particularly authentic. The last Tweetathon was a vivid illustration of the volume of work that the constabulary undertakes on a normal working day and it was very well received by the public.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved especially the volunteers who will offer their time to this innovative social media project.”