Fleetwood, Thˇr¸se & Joneby, Felicia
ÓTwitter in the service of the Swedish PoliceÓ
media is a central part of our everyday life and a place where more and more
companies and governments are presented. As a consequence, the boundaries
between each individualÕs private area and the public area become vague. The
questions this phenomenon raises is not only to what extent companies should be
granted access to each individuals' private sphere, but also the contrary; what
happens when individuals are allowed access to the private area of the
investigates this phenomenon within the Swedish police where police officers
are using Twitter to form a dialogue with the public regarding the everyday
work of the Police. We asked them why they tweet, how it all started and how
they look upon themselves as senders and the public as recipients. The question
we intend to answer using these questions are "How does the Swedish Police
use Twitter to reach out to the public and what do the police officers who use
Twitter think of their usage?".
this question we have interviewed six police officers that use Twitter in their
every day work. All of them serve in Stockholm and are official tweeting police
officers, which means the Swedish Police Authority approves them. Our result
shows that almost every one of the interviewed police officers begun to tweet
because of a committed colleague or because of positive experiences of Twitter.
All of them report that they aim to improve the public image of the police and to
give a human face to the Police Authority. They are also hoping to increase the
public safety and reduce the crime rates in the community.
we did an analysis of the Twitter accounts used by the interviewed police
officers. The analysis gave a large amount of quantitative data regarding their
usage of Twitter, which provided a richer image of their tweeting.
that the official tweeting police officers can be divided into two different
categories according to their usage of Twitter; the
social twitterers and the professional twitterers. The social twitterer
is very committed to his tweeting and spends time to phrase his tweets in an
entertaining and humorous way. The amount of followers is important and he
spends time to interact with his followers, raise questions and answer
questions. The professional twitterer on the other
hand uses his Twitter account as a strategic work tool and he cares a lot for
the consequences of every tweet that he writes. Therefor he is quite subtle and
cautious when he formulates his tweets.
shows that the use of Twitter of the police in Stockholm is a new phenomenon
for the organization that has not yet been given well-established rules and
attitudes. The allocated working time of 2 hours per week for the tweeting
police officers to use Twitter is not enough to maintain their accounts in a reasonable
manner. Also the routines for archiving the Twitter accounts appear to be difficult
to follow and it should be assessed whether they really are necessary. The
tutorials available for the tweeting police officers are sometimes
contradictory and an updated with the experience of the police officers that
have been using Twitter at hand is in our opinion much needed.
phenomenon appears to us as being very new and unexamined within the Swedish
Police. In our opinion the Police could with a
little funding and a greater awareness and priority within the organization
develop their presence in the social media a great deal. This would also
improve their relations with the public and raise the understanding for the
work the police are conducting on an every day basis.