Twitter House Rules
Thanks for taking the time to check out our Twitter House Rules - they are a condition of use when engaging with our account.
Our Twitter account is a place where people can get advice on staying safe as well as stories and updates from Derbyshire Constabulary. Naturally, we want you to be able to join in with comments on what we and other people are saying so you can tell us how you feel, share insights and concerns and talk to other members of the Derbyshire community. However, we also want this to be an account on which everyone feels welcome.
1. Be nice
We have a zero-tolerance approach to offensive Tweets. If we see a Tweet that is insulting, threatening, offensive (i.e. racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, obscene, inflammatory) or contains a link to offensive material, we will hide it - if we’re the recipient - or report it to Twitter.
We want everyone to feel comfortable using our sites to communicate with us so please do not swear in your posts or post anything people may consider distasteful.
Sometimes we will also hide Tweets that are intended to de-rail conversations away from the original subject matter, particularly where the subject of the post may find the dialogue upsetting. This means the Tweet isn’t visible to anyone except the person who posted it and their friends.
We will also hide or report any Tweet we spot that we think might be trying to offend, intimidate or deliberately provoke other people.
In short, if we see comments being:
…we will take action.
2. Keep it legal
Remember everything you say on Twitter is public. You are legally responsible for what you say and post. Don’t post anything that is: defamatory; fraudulent, deceptive or misleading; in violation of copyright/someone else’s intellectual property; at risk of causing serious prejudice to a trial; or in violation of any other laws or regulations. Your views are solely your own and not those of the Derbyshire Constabulary. The constabulary does not endorse any opinions directed at our account.
Further to this, if we feel that a Tweet represents an offence legally, such as the broad range of hate offences, we will look to our options to investigate the individual responsible.
3. Stick to the topic
We’ve set up our Twitter account to keep you up to date with the latest stories and advice from the constabulary. If we think you’re trying to dominate a thread with your own agenda, we may hide or report your Tweet. If you persist with this, we may block you. The same principle applies to spam and spammers. Do not use our account or mention our username for posting spam or adverts for products or services you or your business offers.
4. Personal details
Please keep yourself safe when using online platforms. Do not post your personal details, such as your address or phone number, when posting publicly on Twitter. If you have contacted us via a direct message to @DerPolContact, for example, and an officer or staff member wants to contact you in return, they will direct message you, if possible, asking for your contact details.
5. Do not pretend to be someone else
Be yourself. Impersonating another user by setting up a fake account, for whatever reason, is not only against Twitter’s terms and conditions but it will result in your comments being reported and may lead to you being blocked.
6. Don’t report crime on Twitter
This is really important. The account isn’t monitored 24 hours a day and reporting an incident on Twitter may not be seen for a period of time, and also exposes you to risks. If you need to talk to us about a crime, please refer to the contact methods in our Twitter bio, such as using our @DerPolContact function. If it’s an emergency, you should always call 999.
If you’ve come across something on Twitter you think breaks Twitter's terms and conditions, you should report it to Twitter.
Our Twitter account is monitored between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that during this time, we will deal with offensive Tweets posted in response to us or which mention us in reasonable time. Please note that our call centre offer a 24/7 reporting service for non-emergencies via their @DerPolContact account.
Remember: We reserve the right to hide and report Tweets or block any users that breach these guidelines, without explanation, and change our guidelines at any time and without notice.
We very rarely have a need to block people from engaging with our account and will only do so after careful consideration.
What you can expect from us
How often will I see your updates?
If you ‘Follow’ us on Twitter, you can expect to see several updates daily – more frequently on weekdays, but also at weekends.
If there is a major incident that affects a lot of people in Derbyshire, or an emergency situation where getting accurate information and instructions to you quickly is essential, we will use both Facebook and Twitter as the main platforms for distributing that information. Much of the information will contain links back to the force website for a more detailed explanation.
Will you reply to me?
If you Tweet us with a genuine question, which has not been covered in the context of the Tweet or the page it links to, and which we feel warrants a response based on the Tweet’s content or sentiment, you can expect a response from us. However, we cannot reply to everyone who Tweets us and it may not always be possible to reply immediately. We will not respond to rhetoric or any abuse aimed our way.
There are some topics or cases that we will not be able to discuss due to a number of reasons, including criminal proceedings being active or investigations being under way. If this is the case, we will tell you.
Who monitors this page?
We’d like to highlight that no police officers contribute to the update and monitoring of our force Twitter account.
It is run by specialist personnel in the Communication and Engagement team whose role it is to inform and engage with the public about relevant news, enquiries, appeals, campaigns and events, to help our officers detect and solve crimes as well as protecting and informing the public.
Before you ask…
A lot of questions are directed at us via Twitter. Here are a few common questions and our answers:
Many people have asked us to name the offender. It may not be possible for us to do so in compliance with media law.
The general process followed in accordance with media law in relation to offences is as follows:
- Arrest: no details or names shall be released unless in exceptional circumstances
- Charge: we are permitted to release the name, age and address of someone charged with an offence
- Sentence: we are permitted to release full details, and if that person has received a custodial sentence we can release their custody picture along with the details.
Although the above is a general rule of thumb, please note that there may be additional factors that contribute to a decision not to name the offender.
We publish a person’s address as part of any naming to help distinguish an individual as there may be more than one person with the same name living in Derbyshire.
Officers using their mobile phones on duty
It’s not uncommon to see our officers using their mobile devices whilst on patrol or out and about in the community. Each officer has a Mobile Data Terminal which gives them access to various force systems and functionalities that can assist them with their duties. This includes social media. Social media is a great way for our officers to communicate and engage with their community, and it’s something that, as a force, we encourage. They may be composing a Tweet, a Facebook message or a template for the Derbyshire Alert email system. This trio of messaging has become part and parcel of an officer’s role.
Please note that Derbyshire Constabulary no longer owns or operates a helicopter. The National Police Air Service (NPAS) deliver a fully borderless service to all police forces across England and Wales and an unprecedented national response to major and critical incidents. They assist us on request, where available, responding to large-scale incidents that affect our county, from missing person searches to aerial views on burglaries or pursuits. We don’t discuss specific instances of the use of the helicopter but please keep an eye on their Twitter account for more information and appeals.
Mobile Phone Usage Whilst Driving
It is illegal to hold a phone or sat nav while driving or riding a motorcycle. You must have hands-free access, such as:
- a bluetooth headset
- voice command
- a dashboard holder or mat
- a windscreen mount
- a built-in sat nav
The device must not block your view of the road and traffic ahead and must be placed out of the ‘swept area’, that being the area in which the windscreen wipers operate.
You must remain in full control of your vehicle at all times. Officers can stop you if they believe you’re not in control due to being distracted. You may be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
The law still applies to you if you’re:
- stopped at traffic lights.
- queuing in traffic
- supervising a learner driver
You’re deemed to be still in charge of your vehicle on all three examples and must not hold your phone or device.
To make a call, pull up somewhere safe and switch the engine off before making your call/sending your message. With the engine on, even when stationary, you’re still deemed as being in control of your vehicle, although officers will apply common sense and their own discretion where possible.
This legislation excludes two-way radio. You may see police officers use this method of communication whilst driving in order to carry out their duties.
Typically, a person who is serving time at HMP Sudbury, a Category D men’s open prison, is serving the latter stages of their sentence in preparation for their release. HM Prison Service believes that person to be a low security risk. Unfortunately, the trust placed on an individual is sometimes abused and they flee. The absconder then becomes a matter for the police. We will then do all we can – including public appeals – to locate the absconder.
When an absconder is arrested, he (HMP Sudbury is a male-only cat D prison) could face a fine, additional terms added to the probation, revoked probation or a return to prison.
Missing People (mispers)
There is no rule that states that you have to wait 24 hours to report a missing person. It depends on the person who is missing, their age, mental state and vulnerability.
If the missing person is a child, elderly or a person in a very depressed state then you should alert us straight away.
If the person is late home or late for an appointment, then it is sensible to try and contact the person or the last place they were, then wait a reasonable amount of time prior to contacting the police.
Note: The image we publish in relation to missing people is always the best image we currently have of that person, often supplied to us by the family.
Want to make a complaint about Derbyshire Constabulary?
You can find all the information on how you can complain here: Thanks and complaints | Derbyshire Constabulary
You can also say thank you to us via the same link, which makes a real difference to our officers’ day if you want to let them know about a good piece of work they’ve done for you or your community.