Belfast Telegraph

Get the prosecco on ice: PSNI districts go toe-to-toe in all out 'banter war'

But is it wise use of PSNI resources? Ask social media users

By Jonny Bell

The batons are out between police officers as two PSNI districts go toe-to-toe in - what they've termed - a "banter war".

It all started when PSNI Bangor offered one "lucky" Facebook follower a ride-along with officers to sample life on the beat in the picturesque seaside town.

Their colleagues in Craigavon said they thought long and hard about offering the same to their followers but always thought they "fell short on the ice cream parlours per capita ratio required for such a venture" compared to their "beach patrol colleagues".

"They say imitation is the highest form of flattery I suppose," said PSNI Bangor in reponse.

Accompanying their post was a doctored PSNI emblem with the "stealing content from PSNI Bangor since 2016" superimposed over the badge with the hashtags "Anyone know a good copyright solicitor," "Unfriend Craigavon" and "Bangor envy" among others.

The Craigavon boys - and girls - in green were quick to hit back after Bangor's opening salvo in their "banter war" and explain how life on the coast was always sunshine and ice cream.

Alongside a picture of a crying man with the caption 'when you realise you are following PSNI Bangor... Instead of PSNI Craigavon,' they wrote: "I can just see them all sat in their butler served canteen tittering away over their caviar and quail salad, having a go at the real police in between reports of patio heater thefts and disturbances at the yacht club.

"Sure you know yourself mayte. Shocking scenes."

Bangor responded, playing up on their colleagues impression of life as a seaside cop they included a picture of a yacht with the caption "Jeeves, release the hounds PSNI Craigavon are trying to get aboard again."

The post added: "Jeeves get the prosecco on ice, thanks to PSNI Craigavon we have boat loads of new followers to welcome."

Some however, have asked if the "banter" is a good use of the PSNI's well-documented stretched resources.

"I'm paying my taxes so that the PSNI can have some "banter" on Twitter. Sound," tweeted @MrsAgger05.

But the Bangor officer responsible said the posts were written while off duty. "Not one penny of tax payers' money used," the officer said.

Both teams on Facebook also defended their use of the social media site to engage the public.

Craigavon wrote: "We try to give you more of an insight into what Policing Northern Ireland is like on a day-to-day basis. Information we've received due to appeals on Facebook and Twitter has been crucial in solving cases.

"Lost property has been reunited with owners, countless missing people have been found, local issues highlighted and crime prevention advice given quickly and easily to thousands of people."

Their Co Down colleagues added: "Here at PSNI Bangor there are no gimmicks or over use of the photoshop app. We like to keep our posts to issues effecting local people and pictures of our lovely scenery.

"When I’m not taking the yacht out for an afternoon spin in the marina or dictating a post for Jeeves to put online, we are dealing with one of the highest call rates in the province.

"As well as enjoying the highest victim contact rate at 98% we also boast the page with the most likes of any district pages as we were one of the first local pages.

"Anyway I will stop boring your with facts and figures. PSNI Craigavon seem to have an inferiority complex about our wee town. Reeks of jealously if you ask this humble public servant.

"This post has already gone on longer than I usually care too. Thon must be rubbing off on me!!"

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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