You would’ve thought that the police force of a major country’s most powerful weapon would be..well, a weapon. But that’s not the case for Spain’s National Police, @policia. With nearly 700, 000 followers on Twitter, it is the second largest among law enforcement agencies, only behind the FBI. Unlike the FBI, they use Twitter as a tool to hook up citizens and chase criminals. Smart and cheap. Nowadays, Twitter is the top way to quickly and easily receive and send information. A great example of this was when they promoted the agency’s email address on Twitter and received about 500 emails from people all over the country giving information about drug dealers and crime. Guess how many arrests those emails brought? Nearly 350! Talk about getting work done the easy way. Not only were people arrested but drugs were seized as well, more than 450 kilos.
Other police departments from all over the world are taking note of this major success and are coming to theSpanish Police for help on how they can utilize social media to subdue criminals. They Spanish Police have been communicating through Twitter in a friendly and conversational way. This helps build the trust of the public and they feel a lot more relaxed contacting the police, says a professor at a business school in Madrid. And he is absolutely right. People feel uncomfortable contacting the police in today’s world, so when the police force builds a safe and comfortable online presence, it makes it easier for the citizens to communicate.
And it’s not only drug dealers are criminals the police force are catching, Twitter has also helped Spain’s police force attack all kinds of awful crime such as online child pornography, as well as sexual abusers and criminals scamming celebrities. All in all, social media has helped the police force fight crime in a way like never before.
This is a prime example of using something to it’s maximum benefit. Social media is now the top media. Spain’s police force realized this and took advantage. It seems like the most powerful weapon is not a physical weapon, but the weapon of people through their words. Enough with the guns and the bombs and the expensive intel, smart thinking and planning done by Spain’s police force has kept it one step ahead of criminals. Keep tweeting @policia!