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Issue No. 357 May 2012

Cop stories go down a Tweet

The Police Twitter feed is scoring highly with those keen to peek behind the scenes of policing.

The feed, @BetterWorkStory, was voted into the nation’s top 50 by NZ Herald readers last month, along with high-profile Tweeters such as comedian Rhys Darby, broadcaster Marcus Lush and MP Tau Henare.

Twitter promotes safety messages while targeting potential recruits.
Photo: Senior Constable Don Bruce, Auckland Forensic Imagery

The feed is used primarily as a cost-effective recruitment tool, says Recruitment Marketing Manager Cam Moore.

“Our officers have better work stories and the public are keen to hear what goes on behind the scenes, so the potential for interesting and quirky content is endless,” he says.

The tweets are generated by a handful of officers with iPhones from around the country. They work in sections including general duties, CIB, neighbourhood policing, Delta (dog squad), search and rescue and at Police College.

The car crash photo (left) - a genuine image taken in Otahuhu a few years ago - was recently posted on @BetterWorkStory and Police’s recruitment Facebook page.

An invitation to “caption this” resulted in a huge range of creative captions from the public, including: “Tried to drift outside the dairy, nek minnit...”; “The karma police got there before you guys”; and “Leaning over to grab my ghost chips won’t cause an accident, yeah right.”

The real work story was picked up by other media outlets who echoed key recruitment messages in their coverage.

Tweets to savour:

Search & Rescue: “Went to look for a missing autistic child. He wouldn’t answer our calls but would say “EIEIO” when we sang Old MacDonald. We searched the bush, singing until we found him.”

Road policing: “I just woke a vehicle thief on the side of the road who was catching some zzz’s in a stolen car. Good to see he got our road safety messages. Don’t drive tired.”

Delta 10: “Violent man locked himself in a room, armed with a club. He paid nil attention to the police dog, but surrendered when his mum told him to come out.”

Neighbourhood Policing Team: “Spoke to a young man who was selling dodgy DVDs at the local market. I asked if he’d heard of video piracy laws. He replied “is that the one with Johnny Depp in it?”

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