Yorkshire police force insists it's not banning officers from Twitter following change to social media accounts

A Yorkshire police force has insisted it is not banning officers from their own Twitter handles following changes to social media accounts.

North Yorkshire Police.
North Yorkshire Police.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police have closed their individual accounts and have instead switched to force-wide and district accounts.

The force has said the move is in line with recommendations from the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), as well as concerns that people are continuing to report crimes via these accounts, which officers may miss.

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A force spokesman said: "Behind the changes that we are making is the absolute imperative to protect our communities and our officers, staff and volunteers.

"Despite stating that our social media accounts are not currently to be used for reporting crime, we carry the risk that crime and intelligence shared on our official accounts, or accounts that look like official police accounts, could be missed.

"Alongside the NPCC recommendations there is a need for us to ensure North Yorkshire Police and all other police forces are in a position to identify any crimes reported on social media in the near future.

"Currently, our officers, staff and volunteers are at risk of missing such reports if they are not able to monitor their North Yorkshire Police social media accounts on a daily basis.

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The changes will see fewer North Yorkshire Police social media accounts with the force stating it will make it easier for people to find latest updates from their area. It will mo

The number of accounts covering geographic areas will be reduced and instead, there will be eight district accounts covering Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate Borough, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough Borough, Selby District and York

The accounts will be managed by local policing teams.

The force spokesman said: "Our many officers, staff and teams who already post and share social media content have not been banned from posting. We know that the public enjoy the insight into policing that these provide.

"If they wish to, they will be able to include their name so the public still know who is the ‘voice’ behind the post.

"By providing officers with access to our official accounts their ‘voices’ will be able to reach a larger audience.

"These changes will improve the service we provide to our communities through social media, enabling them to receive the North Yorkshire Police content they need through fewer channels.

"This is not a unique approach for North Yorkshire Police – other forces are already following this approach and have condensed their accounts resulting in an improvement in public satisfaction and feedback."