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Swan video highlights importance of sharing police social media appeals

You may have guessed that our CCTV appeal to find a rogue swan this morning was in fact an April Fool, and that it was all for the greater good…

We hope it made you smile and reminded you of our local policing blockbuster Hot Fuzz. We wanted to use it as opportunity to highlighted how important it can be when you engage with and share our social media appeals.

We would like to give everyone who follows our channels a massive thumbs-up. We couldn’t do our jobs without people like you caring about our communities and playing a role to help us keep them safe.

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Herbert said: “Social media is a vital tool to our police service, and the public can be a huge help to our investigations. Not only can we provide crime prevention advice and community reassurance, but we can also share different appeals including missing and wanted people.

“I would like to thank everyone who shares our appeals and contacts us with helpful insights. If in doubt, let us know, because you may hold the piece of the jigsaw we are looking for. Intel received following our social media posts – together with witness input, third party, identification and footage – can sometimes make the difference to solve a crime, supporting victims and communities in their time of need.

“I hope our swan appeal helped draw attention to the vital role that both social media and you can play in gathering intel, while also raising a smile.”

Since the beginning of the year, we have released 136 appeals and reached about 6.5million people on social media.

Some of our recent social media success stories:

• In February, a kind member of the public who saw our appeal to locate a missing man, had located him, called police, and looked after him until officers arrived.
• Sometimes social media posts produce very quick results. In January, we issued an appeal at 11.45am to find a wanted man. Less than five hours later, a member of the public called to say they thought they saw him… he was arrested less than 15 minutes later.
• On the other hand, some appeals can prompt individuals to hand themselves in. On two separate occasions in November 2022 and February this year, two people did just that and presented themselves at a police station shortly after the appeals went live.
• Over Christmas, we issued a CCTV appeal of a person officers wanted to speak to in connection with a theft at a shopping centre. Thanks once again to the public seeing the appeal and calling in, the man was identified, arrested, and charged.
• In November, we issued a CCTV appeal after a woman was punched in Frenchay. One day after the piece was shared to our social media, the subject of the image came forward.

Thank you for sharing our appeals on social media. If you don’t follow us already, click the links below:

Avon and Somerset Police Facebook
Avon and Somerset Police Twitter
Avon and Somerset Police Instagram