Not surprisingly, social media has become an increasingly useful tool for the police to connect with the public. With the growing popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram as news outlets, authorities are increasing use of these platforms. And now Snapchat is being thrown into the mix—the UK’s West Midlands Police claims to be the “first force in the world to join Snapchat.”


Keiley Gartland, a member of the Corporate Communications Department, explained that the force has a huge following that continues to grow. WMP’s messages reach approximately  500,000 people daily. With accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram, WMP is no stranger to social media. The force’s Twitter account alone has over 110,000 followers, and officers of all ranks are active on social networking sites. Now they’re hoping to engage a younger audience, and believe that Snapchat will be an effective platform for getting their message across. “What we want is for them to have the confidence to give us a call or speak to their neighborhood bobby when they really need our help—and social media is a great tool for us to do that,” Gartland says. “We can share crucial updates on incidents and crime prevention tips whilst also offering a unique insight into our work.”



The Snapchat pictures are updated every 24 hours, coming from all of WMP’s departments—including the Cannabis Disposal Team, Traffic Unit, CID, neighborhood officers, and the Dogs Unit.

Search for ‘WestMidsPolice’ on Snapchat to follow WMP, check out their story, and receive all the latest breaking news updates. However, when it comes to reporting crimes, WMP stresses the importance of using 999 [the UK’s equivalent of 911].