Wednesday, July 25, 2012

4,000 track police helicopters on Twitter

4,000 track police helicopters on Twitter

January 13th 2012

Justin Davenport, Crime Editor

A twitter account which allows users to follow the activities of the Met’s helicopters has attracted more than 4,000 followers in a week.

The profile, @MPSinthesky, went live on January 3 with tweets four to five times a day.

They are updated by air crews and include brief details on the reason for the operations. Police hope the posts will help reduce complaints about helicopter noise. Last year residents in the West End claimed the use of the air support unit had reached intolerable levels and was often for trivial reasons of “dubious operational necessity”.

One resident complained that a helicopter was even being used to monitor a Harry Potter premiere in Leicester Square. The air support unit, based at Lippitts Hill in Essex, has three helicopters and flies 24 hours a day.

Inspector Phil Whitelaw, its head, said the response to the tweets had been positive so far. “I am confident our Twitter posts will play an important role in raising the profile of our work and in working to reduce complaints.” One comment on Twitter said: “Best thing the Met has ever done!”

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