Social networking helps police in South Yorkshire

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Social networking platforms including Twitter have been credited with helping police inform residents and quash false rumours about potential community disorder in South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire Police’s twitter followers trebled to 9,332 followers from a starting point of 3,000 before events began in London.

The correct message about the absence of disorder given out by South Yorkshire Police was instantly re-messaged (‘re-tweeted’) via authority representatives’ to the public within minutes. As a result, people were kept informed and others, who were searching for information relating to potential disorder, chose to ‘follow’ the South Yorkshire Police Authority and South Yorkshire Police to keep up to speed on developments via the online updates.

South Yorkshire Police Authority chairman Charles Perryman said: “It appears that, while social media tools have been blamed by some for helping to organise disturbances in other parts of the country, they have been a definite success story here in South Yorkshire for all involved - the public, the police force and the Police Authority.”

Incorrect rumours circulating at the time included speculation about a curfew in the county.

Follow South Yorkshire Police @syptweet and the authority on @sypolicesauth