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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cops on Facebook

This morning's Wales on Sunday reports that North Wales Chief Constable, Richard Brunstrom has urged his officers to join Facebook. He says he wants to take "community engagement into cyberspace" in a bid to engage with young people.

The article quotes a survey that suggests that children would find it less intimidating to contact an officer via the internet rather than face to face. This of course depends on how good the community police officer is but nevertheless it is a valid way forward.

As it happens my local community constable is already on Facebook and is one of my Facebook friends, so in the spirit of all-Wales cyber comradeship I logged onto my profile this morning and searched for Richard Brunstrom so as to extend the hand of friendship to him. Alas, there was no profile to be found.

What I found instead was a series of Facebook groups that reflected the controversial status of the North Wales Chief Constable. The biggest of these groups with 281 members rather unfairly goes under the name of 'Richard Brunstrom is an arse'. Thirty eight people believe that 'Richard Brunstrom is spot on', whilst 31 proclaim that we should 'Legalise all drugs. Back up Richard Brunstrom'. Twenty people mysteriously believe that 'Richard Brunstrom is a turd', but the membership of the group that wants Richard Brunstrom to be Prime Minister is just one less at 19 and 16 people assert that the Chief Constable is a legend.

It continues with twelve members of a group who want Richard Brunstrom sacked and ten who believe that he is an absolute idiot. Seven people want to 'remove Richard Brunstrom' and nine people have joined a group dedicated to 'The Richard Brunstrom pension fund'. This last group was set up in response to rumours that the Chief Constable is to retire in sixteen months and encourages people to contribute so as to bring the date forward.

This post has not been written to knock Richard Brunstrom, after all in terms of the internet he has been a trailblazer amongst Chief Constables. He still maintains his blog here and understands the uses that the internet can be put to. Maybe when he gets around to setting up his own Facebook profile he will send me a friend request.
er.....maybe brunstrom's time would be better spent doing the job we pay him to do - catching criminals? a novel idea i know...but maybe worth a try!!!!!!

You could have linked to the Brunstrom is an arse group...

* goes searching *

His position on drugs is laudable enough, but his crusades against perfectly law-abiding bikers mean I am unable to ever like him.
That is a very old-fashioned view of policiing, Leigh! Though a legitimate one. To be fair North Wales Police are amongst the top performing in the Country.
ur probably right in saying that peter - guess i been spending too much time watchin that 'life on mars' dvd box set i had for xmas!

But on a more serious note many ordinary peoples experience of the police is not always that good im afraid . We have been burgled 3 times in the last two years and the police have not bothered to come out once! We were informed on the phone that if the value of any goods stolen was less than £1,000 they wouldnt come out (and there is a station round the corner from me)

I know for a fact this experience is not unique to me. So im sure you can understand why som eof us are abit cynical when it comes to how efective modern policing sometimes is.

Gene hunt would have been round my gaffe in a flash.. and he'd have felt som elocal 'toe rags' collar and beaten a confession out of him by teatime :)

I suppose if the local plods did get themselves a Facebook accound at least you'd know what they look like always assuming that they post a profile picture.

On the subject of drugs, I saw two police officers circa 9:30 in Talbot St., Maesteg on Friday morning, I asked a passer-by to pinch me since I thought I was hallucinating!

G. Lewis
Ogmore Lib Dems
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