Police Twitter Awards: Statement: Police Hour pulls out of the Awards

Police Awards
Police Awards

Police Twitter Awards

Police Officers have managed to use 140 characters to reach a wider audience within some of the most serious policing incidents.

They keep us informed and aware by providing accurate updates while sharing the human side of policing.

Tweeting and policing can influence Law enforcement in the UK and around the world, some may think cops should not be tweeting and it’s a waste of time but it is not.

Tweeting and policing has a good impact on community engagement it enables officers to engage with communities, confidence in policing & often builds bridges within the communities our officers work within.

People often feel safer when they see tweets from police officers and allows members of the community to see police officers as human.

Many believe officers tweet in work time the reality is they often don’t have time to tweet at work so they’ll do it in their own time when they are at home simply because they care.

They will respond and engage with members of the public in their own time which can only be a good thing and that is simply what makes tweeting and the Police Twitter Awards so special.

When a child is missing 140 characters makes a difference, when someone has been abducted again tweets can be key to getting the right messages, they control media speculation and ensure the right policing message is shared.

What are the Police Twitter Awards?

The Police Twitter Awards brings together some very talented police officers who use social media mostly in their own time to engage with the public in creative ways. After all, they are limited to 140 characters.

When Twitter was launched in 2006, no one really knew or could understand just how important the social media network would become in relation to the use of Twitter by the police and Law Enforcement agencies.

Police Officers nervously began opening Twitter accounts, The main corporate perception was not great and professional standards often became involved to discourage officers from tweeting, social media policy was introduced and the power of Twitter began to set in.

Twitter is now a key communication tool for Twitter and policing it gets key messages out fast and allows police teams and individual officers to get key information and appeals out in real-time.

Police Officers and staff often give up their own time to monitor and respond to messages to their Twitter accounts 24/7 something that isn’t done in working and operational policing time.

The Police Twitter Awards launched in 2016 at Northamptonshire Police Headquarters and in 2017 the awards were held at West Yorkshire Police Carr Gate Police Training Centre. After a break in 2018, the awards were due to return in 2019 with a new team. Then we pulled out.

Why did Police Hour pull from the Twitter Awards?

For years we have passionately supported the Police Twitter Awards, For years we have sponsored the Police Twitter Awards, and this year we were proud to say we saved them…

Sadly we have now officially withdrawn our support, something which we were not going to be making public until events of this weekend.

We have proudly and passionately supported the awards for years, the values they brought up to 2017 were incredible, They celebrated the achievements of officers tweeting and proudly and the amazing achievements these officers achieved.

Not one that shows favorites and is only engaging with the accounts that are winning.

We will always support and promote policing and celebrate the success of officers but we can no longer support the Twitter Awards.

We are proud to say this year we made the Twitter Awards happen, but we also regret that this has created a negative something which we can no longer put our name to and support.

We walk knowing we have left this year’s awards in the best place knowing they will be able to continue for many years to come.

We don’t do Darma but we need to set the record straight and make you aware of why we have chosen to pull from the Twitter Awards.

There are some very credible people attached to the awards and our aim was to ensure that was not impacted and that the credibility of the police Twitter awards was not impacted.

Our aim was to ensure the awards ran smoothly having provided a great PR campaign that promoted the possibility of the awards, this was hampered by unprofessional and personal tweets which showed a bias towards winners which emerged from the style of tweeting.

We warned this must not happen not for our own gain but to protect the worth and value of the awards, we were the next generation team following on from a hugely successful team.

To ensure the awards were successful they needed to run corporately and professionally without ego and a look at me approach attached to them the awards is about policing, celebrating policing, and not the person running the Twitter account which was the case.

Maybe the feat was too much, maybe all of a sudden there was a sudden feeling of fame because of the way the awards had been running in the years beforehand. We reminded this person that it was about policing and the account needed to be run professionally.

We warned internally that we would pull the awards if the account was run unprofessionally after we had to clean out over 500 tweets from the account. We did this to protect the integrity of the awards and the reputation of the incredible people attached to these awards.

This was not easy however we must remember the values of the awards and what they stand for.

We had lengthy conversations whereby it was agreed the account needed to be run professionally and corporately for the reputation and credibility of the awards to remain intact and that of the people involved.

It was agreed that the account should be run professionally and corporately, We granted all team members re-access to the account under the understanding it was a professional approach.

Despite this, a certain member within the awards team waited until they knew we were away for the weekend and out of phone contact to switch over the Twitter accounts so they could continue running the account in the way we warned against claiming technical problems with the main account despite having the password and still continuing to tweet.

Under these circumstances, there is no way we can continue to support the Twitter Awards, we find this very underhanded, and unprofessional in relation to this. There was no discussion about this happening and we were dropped from the Twitter Awards PR.

Something which will later be a regret of the awards team under the information that our PR team removed 50 unprofessional engagements from the main Twitter account which engaged in conversations with the winners. Looking at the account you could tell who was leading each category based on the engagement and we warned of this.

Oddly we still have the @PoliceAwards account, They’ve left it to us and switched to a whole new account. we will ensure this account is running professionally until voting closes as we’d not want to hamper the awards or impact voting for any officers involved within this year’s awards.

We’ll leave the PoliceAwards.co.uk website running to ensure people can continue to vote to ensure links to the voting system stay alive and ensure that us withdrawing from the awards will not harm the success of the awards.

However, we will be withdrawing our offer of £7K sponsorship to ensure the awards had enough funding to run smoothly and meet the expectations of previous years.

Changing the accounts only leads us to believe that the team is happy for the account to be run in such a way.

For us, we are not because this could have caused damage to our brand, the brand we have worked 5 years to build a brand that sees 2.5 million readers a week who come to us for trustworthy reliable, and credible news.

We do however keep our honestly and credibility intact by walking away.

We only work on professional projects with a real vision and drive that live the values they promote and share every day.

We can only be part of a brand that is corporately run and that tweets professionally.

That is run with honesty and integrity.