Trailblazing Woodside copper Sergeant David Deuchar tweets on the beat to keep residents informed

Croydon Guardian: Sergeant David Deuchar tweets to keep people informed about issues on his patch Sergeant David Deuchar tweets to keep people informed about issues on his patch

A police sergeant is encouraging his colleagues to tweet on the beat after joining Twitter earlier this year.

Sgt David Deuchar, 38, of the Woodside Safer Neighbourhood Team wants to breathe some new life into policing and become an active presence on social media.

The only other officer to have a twitter account in Croydon is Sgt Diane Hill of Crystal Palace but it is expected more will follow as the Met Police look for new ways to connect with residents.

Sgt Deuchar, who served in the police for 17 years, has already seen some of his tweets go global with the Huffington Post using some of his tweets about an incident in Grange Road in Upper Norwood where a car had flipped over.

The former Lewisham and Sussex copper is currently studying a degree in policing and decided to take a module in social media.

He said he is happy to be a trail blazer in Croydon and hopes more officers will follow his lead.

The 38-year-old said people want to be able to interact with their local policing teams and see what they are doing rather than getting "sterile" information from the Met’s press office.

Sgt Deuchar has tweeted about a range of operations including uncovering a cannabis factory in Woodside, helping out with the floods and more recently telling residents there will be more patrols in South Norwood after the death of a man in Station Road at the weekend.

He said feedback from residents has been good so far but is hoping to build up bigger following to encourage more interaction.

The Sgt added: "A lot of police officers around the country already use twitter and I think the Met are realising that this is something people want.

"We have to be careful but I don’t want to sit there and just retweet the MPS feed or the Croydon feed as otherwise we just become another corporate source.

"The aim is to inject some personality into it and show what we are doing as a safer neighbourhood team.

"It is such a fast paced medium and there have been times when I have tweeted something and the press guys haven’t even got the lines ready yet. It just shows how quickly tweets can get picked up.

"I perhaps did not appreciate the benefits of Twitter before but I can safely say I am a convert now."


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