Join police on Twitter for New Year's Eve

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a front-line police officer on New Year's Eve?

Bay of Plenty Police are inviting the Twitter community to join them on a virtual ride-along taking them on patrol around central Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

The aim of the initiative is to provide Twitter users with a snapshot of the work that Police do on New Year's Eve by tweeting in real time about incidents and situations they are attending.

Those operating the Twitter feed will also be sharing messages, photos and links to useful websites to help everyone in Western Bay of Plenty and the wider community to stay safe.

"We've worked incredibly hard with our partners over the years to make New Year in Western Bay of Plenty a really family-focused event and we now have really positive interaction with the majority of the crowd on the night," said Inspector Clifford Paxton.

"Social media is a phenomenon that continues to grow in strength and popularity and our experience of the New Year demographic tells us there will be many avid users in the crowd. What better way to extend our interaction with residents and visitors."

The virtual ride-along will take place from 7pm on New Year's Eve through to 2am on New Year's Day. To join us follow @BOPPolice or search for hashtag #BOPPolice.

"We are encouraging Twitter users, particularly those who will be in the Western Bay of Plenty on the night, to join us, to share our messages with their own followers and to interact with us. Our staff give up precious time with their families to help keep your families safe, so keep them company and support their efforts to ensure we have a memorable and trouble-free evening," said Inspector Paxton.

It is important to note that Twitter should NOT be used to report incidents or crimes. Anyone needing emergency assistance should use the 111 system. Non-urgent reports should be made through the local police.

In the interests of privacy no identities of individuals or address of incidents will be shared via Twitter. Although the Twitter feed will be in real time there may be instances where a slightly delayed message is needed in order to protect the safety of individuals involved.

The Bay of Plenty Twitter page @BOPPolice will be actively tweeting useful messages across the whole of the holiday period but will only be tweeting about incidents in real-time on New Year's Eve.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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