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Merseyside chief questions why vandalism tweet was deleted

Vandals attacked a police car while officers dealt with a particularly distressing RTC
Published - 29/03/2018 By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

A chief has questioned why a tweet highlighting how vandals targeted a police car was deleted.

Yobs spat over a police car's door handles and let down the tyres while officers helped a critically injured off-road biker.

Merseyside police officers rushed to the aid of a 24-year-old man after crashing into a wall on his scrambler bike in Longmoor Lane, Fazakerley last Tuesday afternoon.

After investigating the incident and putting road closures in place the officers found their vehicle had been vandalised.

The roads policing unit tweet read: “Longmoor Lane has now been re-opened, thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we dealt with the incident.

“Special mention to the people who decided to let tyres down on the police vehicles and spat over the door handles whilst we dealt with the incident #HereToHelp”

Chief Constable Andy Cooke also criticised the yobs after realising  original tweet had been deleted.

He said: “Protecting the public. And then this. Proud of my officers. Disgusted by the pathetic louts who did this.”

CC uploaded a screenshot of the tweet and said: “This was the tweet I was referring to.

“I don’t know why it was deleted. It’s important that the vast majority of Merseyside's law abiding public who support the police understand the challenges my officers face when they are helping others and doing their job.”

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said the tweet had been deleted in error due to a technical issue.  

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: “We would like to thank those members of the public who helped us at the scene.

“We had a huge amount of support from people in helping us deal with what was a really difficult and challenging incident. It is our job to protect the public and when we arrive at an RTC it is our priority to preserve life and make sure pedestrians and drivers are safe.

“Unfortunately whilst our officers were carrying out their duties there was a small minority of individuals who with no common decency or thought for others, damaged a police vehicle and let tyres down at the scene which meant that we would have been unable to respond to any other emergencies that we could have been called to at any moment.

“It is unfortunate that these criminals have targeted the very people who are there to help ensure the people of Merseyside are safe.

“I urge members of the public to help us in finding these offenders and bringing them to justice – their behaviour is appalling and I know these disgraceful actions of a few have left many members of the community shaking their heads in disbelief.

“I would like to send a strong message to those who carry out this behaviour that we take incidents of this nature seriously, we will do our best to find out who you are and please remember, whatever you think of us, one day you or your families may just need us too."

Last month Police Oracle reported the police inspectorate told forces to ensure officer's social media accounts were "in line with communications strategies" while Gloucestershire Police centralised all police dog twitter accounts.

Also in March, Police Oracle revealed a Met PC was left "astounded" after press officers told him to "rein it in" because he had used a picture of Edward Scissorhands to illustrate a request for advice in helping an elderly resident.

But a Knowledge Media Institute analysis of more than 1.5 million police tweets advised corporate communications to learn from individual officers' use of social media. 

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