Earlier today the poke published the 11 best police tweets of 2013. I love the poke, they publish some brilliant things…but this one was a bit…erm…out of date? How do I know? Well I wrote two of the tweets they highlighted…in 2012!
Here is the poke’s run down, with the original tweets (or you can skip to the conclusion):
1. Leicester City Police offer a free iPad to criminals
Published January 6 2013
A controversial choice to begin with – not because it isn’t a great and funny tweet (it is!) but because it was “borrowed with pride” from @SolihullPolice.
See the full showdown on the HuffingtonPost
2. Surrey Police channel Vanilla Ice to warn about slippery roads
Published December 11 2012
Sorry, what…2012? Are you sure? Well, yes – I know this one was in 2012 because I wrote it! Ah well, it got a lot of retweets in 2013 – and that still leaves the list with “10 best police tweets of 2013” so…erm…that’s OK then!
3. Solihull Police have some “unusual” lost property
Anyone lost a huge amount of cannabis in the Chelmsley Wood area? Don’t panic, we found it. Please come to the police station to collect it.— Solihull Police (@SolihullPolice) December 7, 2012
Published December 7 2012
Hang on…another one from 2012? Well it is a stonkingly good tweet (and one I have “borrowed with pride” myself in 2013) so…I guess that’s OK then?
4. Seattle Police Vs the Stoners
Published August 17 2013
That’s more like it – a good solid tweet from 2013, and a great background story too – basically the laws on cannabis use in Washington State were changing, and the Seattle PD took the opportunity of “HempFest 2013” to educate the public on what the changes meant for them. They recognised that a leaflet would be either thrown away, or torn up and used as a roach (filter at the end of a cannabis joint). If they printed the information on the back of a bag of Dorritos on the other hand…
5. Seattle Police Vs the Zombies
Published September 6 2013
Another one chalked up to 2013. At the (almost) half way mark we are 3:2 to 2013.
I was sceptical that this tweet even existed when I set out to find it – it reminded me too much of the example on http://www.faketweetbuilder.com (especially with the blanked out name – why do that when it appears in the reply??!) but, yes it had happened, and hat’s off to Seattle PD for a good couple of tweets.
6. Solihull Police Vs “Tank window” drivers
Published December 13 2012
Oh dear. Another 2012…so now we are back to even-stevens at the (just over) half way mark…
7. Solihull Police, in again with a dig at the Twilight saga
Arrested a 28yr old man today for stealing a Twilight Saga DVD box set, store owner suggested making him watch it as punishment. — Solihull Police (@SolihullPolice) April 2, 2013
Published April 2 2013
Aha! Proof that Solihull Police did put out some funny Tweets in 2013 as well…(actually they put out loads of funny ones – they are one of the police Twitter accounts I follow for entertainment and inspiration despite having no interest in Solihull!).
8. Seattle PD again, policing another convention (this time it’s comic-con)
Published March 1 2013
Love it! and another one actually in 2013 – maybe I was being too harsh on The Poke. 2013 has just taken a two tweet lead over 2012…
9. GMP (Radcliffe Team) Vs Party Animals
@ryanmuv Ryan, sorry for spoiling your party, but from what i recall you weren’t getting any of the action anyway! Sleep tight
— GMP Radcliffe (@GMPRadcliffe) September 15, 2012
Published September 15 2012
Oh dear. I thought as much. 2012. You see this response had all the hall marks (pun intended) of PC Andy Hall. He used to use Twitter, then he chose to stop, then the Daily Mail spun the “cop chooses to stop using twitter” story into a dig at bosses who were “shrivelled up dinosaurs who have no idea how to reach the people”
That was an interesting one, because less than a week after feigning outrage at GMP for stopping humorous tweets, the Daily Mail were condemning Surrey Police for doing humorous tweets!
10. PC Walker tackles a Smurf
From The Poke
Alas, PC Walker’s account is no longer live, so I can’t embed the original tweet. It’s a shame as I’d like to see more of his work. Does this mean I can’t date his tweet then…NO!
Due to the magic of MuckRack (a website that holds portfolios for journalists) and Ruth Elkins (assistant Online News Editor of the Times), I know that tweet was sent sometime in 2012 – because Ruth retweeted it on September 7 2012.
Published on (or before) September 7 2012
Another one for 2012 – so it’s neck and neck with one tweet to go. Will “The 11 Best Police Tweets Of 2013” actually feature more tweets that…erm, weren’t…from 2013?
11. Surrey Police share a joke…in 2012. So the answer is Yes!
In the run up to Christmas 2012, Surrey Police tweeted a Christmas cracker style policing joke every day. This was one of them.
Police have arrested a woman for stealing a sign reading “& Emergency”. She claimed she found it by Accident… #ChristmasCracker
— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) December 10, 2012
Published on December 10 2012
Number of tweets in The Poke’s list of “The 11 Best Police Tweets Of 2013″ from 2013…………………………………..5
Number of tweets in The Poke’s list of “The 11 Best Police Tweets Of 2013″ that were actually not from 2013…….6
OK. Point made. But why get so upset about this?
A number of reasons..
- Partly because the article started with the line:
Last year technophobic police forces around the world finally stopped treating Twitter like a terrifying, haunted walkie-talkie
Which was uncalled for. That mind shift happened (at least in the UK) in about 2011!
- Partly because there was a feature on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 the previous day that questioned whether Police Forces on Twitter should also be entertaining (my answer is “yes – because the public will then follow them and listen to what you have to say”). I have a sneaking suspicion that someone listened to that feature and put together a half-arsed list of police tweets “from 2013” rather than doing their research properly.
- Partly because so many other police forces are now so good at Twitter, focussing on Solihull, Surrey and Seattle seems a bit…limited. For instance, I love Queensland Police Service (despite never having been to Australia) and the Met Police Helicopter (note their dig at Jeremy Vine!) and Oslo Police (though I only check it occasionally as I don’t speak Norwegian!). There are plenty of others (@NickKeane holds the official UK lists – but don’t just focus on the Forcewide accounts, look at some of the team accounts too!).
- Partly because there have been so many brilliant police tweets in 2013! I wish I’d written this one for instance:
Remember as days get colder animals are attracted to the warmth of cars so check wheel arches or other hiding places pic.twitter.com/MKbCdcBfz6
— Surrey Roads Police (@SurreyRoadCops) November 18, 2013
and a quick search could trawl up plenty of other examples…
- But mainly – because I was so easily able to find all these tweets using Twitter and Google search (and to find when they were originally posted) – and it annoys me that so many of them have the date cropped off!