I have a confession to make. I am a bit of an anorak when it comes to police helicopters and tweets, as a search of this blog will show.
For many years, I was infuriated by the presence of police helicopters, whirring incessantly over my town, without knowing what the heck they were up to.
After considerable persistence via the Freedom of Information Act, I managed to secure a year’s worth of information about the reasons police helicopters were hovering over my town of Newbury.
But my main target was to get all NPAS helicopters, particularly the ones which hover over my area, to tweet their missions, giving the reason they are flying each time. Again, after much persistence, including writing to the local press and Police commissioner, our local helicopter started tweeting.
But the purpose of such tweets is to tell the public what they are doing. Occasionally they tweet interesting photos of areas they are flying over, or nice sunsets they have seen – that sort of thing.
So, with all that in mind, I was absolutely horrified by NPAS London tweeting an overhead photo of Michael McIntyre in the street. Aside from the very important data protection issues, this was a grave misuse of a police helicopter Twitter account. They are supposed to giving serious information to the public – not having a bit of a laugh. It is disgraceful.