Thursday 19 October 2017

Police pen Twitter letter to burglary suspect

A Twitter letter from police to Tracey Dyke (MetPolice/PA)
A Twitter letter from police to Tracey Dyke (MetPolice/PA)

Police have used a novel approach to fighting crime - writing a letter to a suspect via Twitter.

Kingston Police wrote to Tracey Dyke, suspected of multiple burglaries, accusing her of "blanking" them.

In an appeal to contact the suspect, the force wrote: "We have come round to see you a number of times recently but it looks like you'd rather not speak to us, which is very disappointing.

"We have a slight suspicion that you might be blanking us #Awkward. You don't text, you don't call back and haven't accepted our friend request."

They added: "Please stop ignoring us Tracey."

The letter said Dyke was a suspect for burglaries in Kingston, south west London, where vulnerable victims had been targeted, leaving them "traumatised and very upset".

It continued: "We won't stand for this and want to have a discussion with you at our custody suite."

As well as attaching a photograph of the suspect, p olice asked Dyke to hand herself in or call 101, and asked members of the public to call 999 if they see her.

However, Kingston Police's attempts to reach their suspect were criticised by some members of the public who said the stunt was "ethically questionable".

One Twitter user, posting under the name BBBuster1, wrote: "I support you in most things but this is #wrong what happened to innocent till proven guilty?"

James Maxwell posted: "What ever happened to professionalism? Appalling conduct from the social media team."

Aron Lynch called the post "disgusting" on Facebook.

He added: " We know nothing of her background, what sort of life she's had nothing. I'm outraged by the writing in this post, it's macabre to say the least."

Ian Kane said: "If that was my face there, I'd be mortified. This is tacky at best, and ethically questionable."

However, many users compared the tweet to other forms of public appeal. Siobhan Tarleton wrote: "All you do gooders bore off. Crimewatch do this all the time. What if it was your elderly relative!!"

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