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Follow your beat bobby with patrols on Twitter

Sandwell | News | Published:

A new scheme which allows people to keep tabs on police patrol routes has been launched.

Officers are using a mobile phone app called Endomondo to track their movements in Tipton.

They are then posting maps and photographs of where they have been on Twitter.

Pc John Tranter is being tracked over four-days initially and, if this is successful, the idea could be rolled out elsewhere in the region.

Track-A-Cop shows the five-mile morning route

Pc Tranter said: "It's not a live system – we don't want to give criminals a heads up about where we are.

"The app is used to track our movements and then at the end of the day people can see what we have been doing."

He added: "We've had some really positive feedback."

Families logging on to Tipton Green Police's twitter page since Tuesday have been able to see Pc Tranter's patrol routes.

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These included Alexandra Road, Park Lane East and Anderson Road on Tuesday.

Police spokeswoman Kate Baker said: "We've had lots of positive feedback on Twitter. Followers went up a lot on the local account during the day."

The Track-a-Cop scheme is the brainchild of the team's Sgt Dave Rogers, who came up with the idea after residents complained they rarely see officers in their streets.

The route followed in the afternoon by the officer

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Sgt Rogers said: "Sometimes residents tell us they never see us patrolling their street but often in reality it simply means they've not been around at the same time as us.

"I spoke to one resident recently who said he couldn't remember the last time he saw a beat bobby yet Pcs had patrolled his street three times that day.

"We work closely with local community and their issues and concerns are important to us. Track-a-Cop provides an exciting opportunity for the public to see where we have been on our patrols using social media.

"Our mission 'you said, we did, we listened' is embedded into the way we police our neighbourhood. Track-a-Cop has been developed as a direct result of us responding to the needs of our community. I hope it reassures the public that we are out there on the beat."

Sergeant Dave Rogers from the Tipton Green neighbourhood policing team said: "The support we have received for Track-a-Cop has been overwhelming. We have had national interest from other police forces, the College of Policing and we've had many enquiries from teams within our force who would like to do something similar.

"More importantly, the feedback we have had from the community has been fantastic. We have significantly increased our followers on Twitter and people are also using Twitter to engage with us."

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