We know how important it is to be able to communicate reliable information during times of emergency. When news breaks about an emergency incident, responders jump into action, not just on the ground, but also on social media, delivering critical and timely information and engaging with local communities.
PSNI Superintendent Phillip Knox said: “Social media has now revolutionized communication during emergency incidents. More often than not, it is now the first place people go to seek information when breaking news of a critical incident emerges.
“With that in mind, we want to encourage people to sign up to Twitter alerts on our PoliceServiceNI corporate account enabling members of the public to get accurate and timely information directly from a trusted source.
“This is a tool only available to select public agencies and emergency organizations such as Police, public safety / emergency management agencies that provide critical information to the general public.
“It is a new feature that brings us one step closer to helping users get important and reliable information during emergencies or possibly when other communications services aren’t accessible.”
Alert messages will only appear on subscribers’ phones as push and/or SMS notifications when authoritative accounts mark Tweets as alerts.
Alerts appear differently on your home timeline from regular Tweets as they are indicated with an orange bell.
Once you have an Alert set up, you can easily disable it by simply clicking on the alarm bell again until it turns grey.
Superintendent Phillip Knox continued: “It is important to stress that this will only be used in the event of an emergency or critical incident. Members of the public do not need to be worried that they will receive constant notification messages from this account. They will only receive an alert when absolutely necessary.
“By asking people to sign up to our Twitter Alerts, we hope to enhance the visibility and accessibility of reliable, official information. Keeping people safe is what we do and this will help support officers to be able to do that.”