What proportion of local people follow police accounts on Facebook?

This tweet caught my eye earlier this month:

For each of the police forces in the UK (ex BTP, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and City of London*) Alex has worked out the proportion of people served by the force follow their main corporate Twitter account. Of course there are some caveats (it supposes everyone only follows one force Twitter account, being their local one; it ignores more local accounts, and people accounts, and assumes that people don’t commute to a different police area from where they live for instance).

Graph showing population reach of each Police Twitter account

As well as being exceedingly proud of the penetration of the Surrey Police twitter account (third best by this measure!), it struck me as a useful measure of penetration of an account – so I wondered what the equivalent graph for Facebook looks like. A quick fiddle about with some data later (and thank you Alex for sharing your source for population data) and I have this:



(Not as pretty as I used Google Doc’s!).

*A brief note on the City of London Police:
Both Alex and I did plot the City of London Police, but they are a weird outlier on account of having a tiny population of 8,800 residents. They have more Twitter followers than live in the area – by a massive amount (for every 100 residents, 818 people follow them on Twitter…). Their Facebook following is tiny compared to most UK Police Forces (6700 at time of writing), but because of the tiny population in the square mile, they are still massively over represented – for every 100 residents, 76 follow them.


The final thing to do is to graph the two together:

Facebook likes (red) per 100 popn VS Twitter follows (grey) per 100 popn

Red is Facebook, Grey is Twitter. It looks a bit busy, so let’s try this one. This is a graph of the Twitter followers per 100 popn MINUS Facebook likes per 100 popn. If the difference is below 0, then they have more Facebook likers than Twitter followers.


Special mention to Gloucestershire who have such similar numbers of Twitter and Facebook followers, that the difference between the two is 0!

If you’d like to see my underlying data, I’ve published the google sheet. The Facebook follower data on the Google Sheet (at time of writing) updates automatically, BUT the graphs in this post are images so don’t update (the embedded graphs looked naff).

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