New West Yorkshire Police twitter account launched for real time events (23 Apr 2015)

Crime _tracker 
West Yorkshire Police is launching a new twitter account (@WYP_CCC) to give followers a real time update about ongoing incidents and events.

The new account will inform people as up to the minute as possible about what is happening across the county including road closures and other ongoing incidents of note.

The account will be run 24/7 and will aim to complement the main force twitter account.

Customer Contact Centre Manager Tom Donohoe, said:

"The aim of this account is to be able to pass important information on to followers in a quick and accurate way. So if there has been a major accident on the M1 and the road is closed then it is important to let road users know about the closure. It should also help to reduce the number of calls we get to the customer contact centre.

"We can also put advice on the account in the run up to major events - so before the Tour de Yorkshire we will be tweeting about any planned road closures.

"This will not replace the main force twitter account but will run alongside it."

The new account will go live on Thursday 23 April and to launch it the force is having a tweetathon on the day to show followers the volume and type of calls the force takes on a daily basis.

Tom Donohoe added:

"As a force we typically take between 3,500 and 4,000 calls every day and every caller rightly expects the highest possible service. But that service can be put at risk by people calling the force for completely inappropriate reasons.

"Every day we usually take between 30 and 40 calls that simply aren't for the force to deal with and each call takes a minimum of a minute to deal with.

"At the weekend we had one man who for some reason was annoyed with the police who called the force over 100 times during a three hour period. We have to treat each call as if it was genuine and handle it appropriately - time that should have been spent answering genuine emergencies.

"We also tend to receive calls when a particular item of interest is in the news. So when the media were reporting an influx of large spiders last summer we took calls about that. When weather forecasts predicted smog last week people called us about any potential health risk.

"I would ask anyone looking to call officers about such incidents to think about the consequences of their actions."

Mark Burns-Williamson the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, added:

"It is important given the government's severe cuts to West Yorkshire Police that we all do as much as we can to let the police focus on policing.

"It is also important that, as a police service, West Yorkshire gets out accurate information as quickly as possible publicly to inform them about events that might have an impact on them, their families, friends and colleagues.

"This new account is yet another way of letting members of the public know what is happening in their area. The force is showing that it is embracing new technology and different means of communication to have a wider positive impact as possible."

Although members of the public are reminded that they cannot report crime using twitter, people can report crime using traditional methods including the 101 and 999 numbers and certain types of crime on-line. Visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/reportcrime. The new twitter feed is embedded into the 'contact us' page of the website as well.

Follow the new account at: @WYP_CCC. The tweetathon will run from 0700hrs on Thursday 23 April until the same time on Friday 24 April.

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