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Manchester Police Become Serious Social Tweeters

Greater Manchester Polices' 'incidents just in' experiment proved to be hugely popular with users of the Twitter social network.

When the experiment was launched at 5am, the GMP twitter account had just a handful of people following the live feed.

But by 8am more than 2,400 tweeters were watching the police force feed to keep track of the 999 calls being handled by the Greater Manchester officers.

Followers of the feed we're not just from the north, but spread across the length and breadth of Britain.

The tweeting stunt has also generated masses of PR for GMP, with coverage on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live breakfast shows as well as blanket press coverage, including hitting Google's top news feed.

Among the most popular 'tweets' was a report of suspicious noises in a loft in Salford. Thousands of people responded to the messages and passed them on to other people.

Not only have people been following the GMP feed, but they have also been tweeting about incident events all through night.

Paul Addison, from Middlesbrough, said: "Suspicious noises in a loft in Salford. I could watch this feed from GMP all day. Brilliant."

Ian North, from the Isle of Wight, said: "Makes you realise how busy they are and how quiet it seems on the Isle of Wight."

Katie Wynne, in Stoke-on-Trent, said: "It's really interesting hearing what the police have to deal with every day."

And Marcellina Boyle, from Merseyside, said: "Tapped into the GMP feed whilst at the breakfast table.

But not everyone was impressed. One local viewer said: "Today would be a bad day for the police to discover my secret moonshine operation in Urmston, with all you lot watching."

GMP set up six Twitter accounts to host the tweets, as the network imposes a limit on the number of tweets on each account.

The feed started on @gmp24_1 and went on to @gmp24_2 and the force set up accounts up to @gmp24_6 but the number of tweets meant the force quickly filled up the first three accounts.

It wasnt long before greater man-tweeter police fell victim to cybersquatters with a fake joke account set up on @gmp24_7 and a PR firm in Gloucester snapping up @gmp24_8. There were other fake accounts set up on @gmp24_9 and @gmp24_1

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