Sergeant Biddle: Tweeting from Lewisham’s front line

Sgt. Jon Biddle

Sgt. Jon Biddle. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Jon Biddle is the most followed sergeant on Twitter in London. With over 2,100 followers, Biddle tweets roughly 13 times a day, providing a running commentary from the front lines of Lewisham’s streets.

Within two weeks of joining Twitter in March 2013, Biddle had over 200 followers. With 5,635 tweets, Biddle’s account is almost as active as the Metropolitan Police Twitter account.

Biddle says: “To make them feel secure you have to build a relationship with them and I guess that includes building up some sort of a personality”.

As part of Brockley’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, Biddle tweets updates of local operations, posts pictures of drugs and weapons that have been recovered, and provides advice on crime prevention.

At 12:41am on 10 March 2014, Biddle tweeted:

11 minutes later, this was posted:

On receiving negative comments and criticism, Biddle replies: “You can have a debate, but you can’t rise to abuse. I always tell those people to come and see me, but they never do.”

“Successful tweeting is about being proactive and keeping things relevant to the local community. Keep it to the three main crimes that your ward is suffering from. I update people on what’s happening with burglary, robbery, and motor vehicle crime”.

Borough and Neighbourhood Twitter accounts have been encouraged by the Met Police in order to inform the public instantly and interactively of related news and events.

Already more than 100 officers have been trained on how to use these apps and sites effectively and safely. Nathan Shickle, Sergeant Sector for Balham Ward, is the most active sergeant in London with 6,332 tweets. As a long-time Twitter user, Shickle gives talks on its effective use.

Currently, Hackney and Lewisham MPS are the second and third most successful borough accounts with 12,400 and 11,800 followers respectively.

More information on Metropolitan Police Twitter policy can be found here

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