Happy New Year from PSNI West Belfast #tweetonthebeat

Happy New Year from your friends PSNI West Belfast who kept their 750 followers mightily … informed and entertained with their #tweetonthebeat feature, live tweeting some of the lively hi jinks they got up to on Wednesday night to see in 2015.

A few choice examples:




Because having to go out to deal with “loads” of domestics – you know, intervening to stop people being abused or terrorised in their own homes – sounds like a Happy New Year to me. Which I suppose is probably the point to this joke? I don’t know. Either way, jokes about domestic violence and such tend to go down a bit like a lead balloon.



Tarring all (or at least many) local young people with one drink and drug sodden brush?

And let’s not forget PSNI North Belfast who were busy providing community policing for eejits,  and drunk males. Not to omit that vanishing drunk woman on the Shankill.

Thanks for the updates and happy new year to you too PSNI!

I would be the first to agree that the PSNI don’t have the easiest of jobs. I’m certainly not rushing to put myself forward. So why not give people the occasional update on what they have to deal with out on the big old, bad old streets? And why not try to inject a bit of humour into the proceedings?

On the other hand, lighthearted tweets about providing support to people who have probably been physically harmed, threatened or traumatised due to “domestics” – read domestic violence, physical fighting, nasty threats, homes being smashed to pieces, however you want to term it – and disparaging comments about “eejits” and “a lot of young people out and about” hardly inspires community confidence (nor will it get you RTs and new followers). Respect is, after all, a two way street. The PSNI’s self-stated purpose is “to make Northern Ireland safer for everyone through professional, progressive policing”. I’m not sure how professional these comments are, nor do they accord particularly with the PSNI Guiding Principles of “being responsible”, “inspiring confidence” or “treating [people] fairly“.

But I may say no more in case I end up in one of these…

Dungannon (2)

  • Mister_Joe

    Well said, John, and as you say (or imply), a bit of silliness. those tweets would have been best to be unwritten.

  • Zeno1

    Last year when Martin Mc Guinness claimed that the PSNI had a “dark side”, some wit responded “I don’t know about that but anyone who has been stopped by them will testify that they definitely have a “Not too bright side”

  • chrisjones2

    Well nice to see the Christmas Spirit has evaporated very quickly

    Yes its shacking to see the peelers telling it like it is in some parts of our fine city. How dare they suggest that couples fight at Christmas usually while drunk. How dare they call it a domestic when they know that when they arrive both parties may refuse to cooperate and they are next to powerless

    This is not the police’s fault. Why doesn’t some aspiring politician (from SF for example) bring forward legislation like that in the US where if you hit your partner you get locked up. Automatically. No argument. No discretion for police. Hit them and its gaol. And what about the kids being raised in these houses? Are they automatically referred to Social Services? Is care automatically considered?

    If not, why not?

  • chrisjones2

    I bet the doctors, nurses and hospital porters in our local Accident and Emergency Departments also say choice things to each other

    Yes .,..here a re a few of the published ones

    LOBNH (Lights On But Nobody Home),

    CNS-QNS (Central Nervous System – Quantity Not Sufficient)

    NFN (Normal for Norfolk),

    FLK (Funny looking kid)

    TTFO – an expletive expression roughly translated as “Told To Go Away”

    DBI refers to “Dirt Bag Index”, and multiplies the number of tattoos with the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the number of days since the patient last bathed.

    PFO drunken patient who sustained injury falling over,

    PGT drunken patient who got thumped

    45C – patient is one chromosome short of a full set

  • Dan

    ..,and the police slip to a new low on my contempt-o-meter.
    Matey cops tweeting rubbish….how standards have plummeted.

  • mjh

    In cyberspace no one can hear your irony

  • Jag

    Crikey, the offense hunters are out early in 2015!

    Why don’t you come down south where the Gardai are so corrupt that the statistics agency, the Central Statistics Office will no longer publish crime figures because of under-reporting, misclassification or non-reporting of crimes.

    Where we have a police “force” and not a police “service” and you soon see the difference.

    Where whistleblowers who blow the whistle on corrupt practices are sent to Coventry, never been, but apparently your letterboxes regularly get smeared with excrement and your colleagues hang rats (geddit?) near your front door.

    Try contacting your local police station in the South? One number, the Garda answering will be reluctant to give his name and you often get the feeling your call is ignored. Contrast that with the community policing in Northern Ireland where you have the tel numbers of your police who promote themselves on PSNI webpages.

    I literally cried when Noirin Sullivan was recently appointed police commissioner down south, the hope was that Judith Gillespie or an out-of-Stater would have been appointed.

    So frankly, getting sniffy at a couple of matey tweets from the PSNI in West Belfast just shows you don’t know how good (not perfect, it never is) you have it in Northern Ireland.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    I have to agree Jag – the “let’s get insulted about everything” brigade are following on 2014 and making 2015 a PC policed annus horribilis. For God’s sake calm down….

  • Cue Bono

    But why leave out all the positive tweets?

    “Overcome by the good wishes at Xmas from the people of West Belfast.”

    “Great feeling of Peace and Goodwill in Ardoyne this Xmas.”

    “Policing always a pleasure in New Lodge.”

    “Great to feel so appreciated.”

  • banana man

    PSNI Limavady joining the act to with a selfie stick

  • To anyone mentioning – why haven’t I discussed other, earlier positive PSNI tweets from over Christmas … I did consider this – but the focus of this post is PSNI West Belfast’s / North Belfast’s coverage of New Year’s Eve specifically. And among the
    positive tweets, there were plenty that I found to be in pretty poor

    There was another tweet that I didn’t refer to in my post about
    the number of suicide attempts PSNI North Belfast had been called out
    to on NYE.
    The tone of that particular tweet itself wasn’t humorous but it felt kind
    of jarring and out of place amidst a stream of tweets about annoying
    drunk people and reporting suicide attempts really needs to be handled
    with a great deal more sensitivity and care. The Samaritans have
    guidelines about this because “Research shows that inappropriate
    reporting of suicide may lead to imitative or ‘copycat’ behaviour.”

    I’m inclined to agree with John and Chris – it’s hardly a surprise that
    people working in what can often be a fraught and stressful situation
    often feel less than positively about the people they are supposed to be
    serving / protecting etc. Chris has listed a good few abbreviations in
    use within A&E departments. They are not the nicest thing to read
    but it is hardly, to use Chris’s term, ‘shacking’.

    Seeing it on Twitter is, however, a little bit in poor taste. I am not advocating we all feel offended by the PSNI twitter accounts. If this represented the worst thing that has happened to you recently, you lead a charmed and impervious life. I just find it
    surprising and somewhat noteworthy, given how positive most of the Christmas-related tweets have been, that the PSNI didn’t have a more coherent social media strategy in place about derisive tweets and more sensitive reporting of suicide
    attempts and domestic violence.

  • chrisjones2

    …why only Catholic areas? Why in this site is everything determined by oursuns and themuns? Why the implict assumtion that PSNI has a downer on Cathloics and vice versa? Its DEPRESSING and BORING

  • Neither PSNI Belfast East or PSNI Belfast South were tweeting New Years Eve updates. Probably wisely. This post was not intended as a “oursuns and themuns” type of thing.

  • Bryan Magee

    I think its good to remind people that New Year can be a bad time for some people – it encourages you to look out for others.

  • Bryan Magee

    Its called Community Policing. Its what we hired Matt Baggott to bring in. Sure as heck beats water cannon!

  • banana man

    I’m not complaining about it, just pointing out something I thought was funny, this definitely got a good reaction from local young people!

  • Bryan Magee

    Indeed. (I didn’t mean to imply you were complaining!)

    Everyone seems very happy in that photo.

  • StevieG

    Comes across like you are being over-sensitive and taking ‘offense’ too easily. I have not read into these any denigration of domestic abuse, I guess there were lots of ‘domestics’ to deal with, and I think there probably were quite a few ‘eejits’ around needing careful management and help so they do not hurt themselves and others. You do not think it is right that the PSNI use a particular ‘tone’ in this way. That’s fine, but is your issue, I disagree, and think it is petty.

  • babyface finlayson

    It really seems a stretch to find anything offensive or noteworthy in these tweets, (read by 750 people until you highlighted them).
    No judgement is made on any of the people involved, no jokes about the behaviour. A lot of ‘domestics’ could be simply drunken couples having a shouting match. Young people drinking on New years Eve? Heavens above!
    The mention of suicide attempts is linked to sadness and despair at this time of year, surely accurate enough?
    It must be a slow news day.

  • eiregain

    i thought the conversation was about police attitudes being broadcast publicly in an unprofessional manner regardless of what side your on.

    It is an informal and unsafe form of communication which has in the past been proven to be unreliable, unsecured and damaging to organisations and professionals. I do not believe PSNI should tweet anything other than statements and possibly links to statistics or information that is in public interest.

    A manufactured online friendship with a police force trying to use comedy and procrastinate whilst giving the impression of friends is insulting to citizens, who only wish to be protected. It undermines the position of the PSNI and undermines the nature of the information they need to distribute.

    chris your multiple comments today have added nothing to the argument. You’ve done nothing but deliver awful sarcasm (i doubt anyone will find funny)and terrible (seemingly rhetorical) questions.

    Try listening to the OP, it was not intended to read like that.

    What if they joked about rape?
    would that be different and why would you treat this differently?

    Unlike your questions Chris my questions are not aimless, they are directed at you.

  • chrisjones2

    “the conversation was about police attitudes being broadcast publicly in an unprofessional manner”

    but it focused only on the relationship in mostly Catholic areas. As in all things in NI there is a sub text

  • Bryan Magee

    Fair point – there is an appropriate balance to be struck and there are risks with letting people tweet under a corporate logo. Though I don’t mind a little bit of #tweetonthebeet with more informal content.

  • eiregain

    It just so happens that a piece focuses on a catholic area!
    what injustice!
    does that invalidate the information… no,
    does it discredit the author… no,
    Can the piece still be regarded as objective and non judgmental… YES
    does it bring partisans/fundamentalists out of the woodwork to voice their opinions.. most certainly!

  • Bryan Magee

    I looked at this #tweetonthebeat stuff on twitter.

    The hashtag initiative #tweetonthebeat. seems to be part of a process of relationship building, which allows the public to learn about the PSNI’s daily work.

  • eiregain

    “The hashtag initiative #tweetonthebeat. seems to be part of a process of relationship building, which allows the public to learn about the PSNI’s daily work.”

    Does the NI public regulary ask for more insight into the daily work of PSNI or for a more disciplined, accountable policing force. I am of the opinion PSNI serve better than most forces globally and have a tough task, but twitter is a distraction that has very little if any benefit for the people or the PSNI.

  • Cue Bono

    Well exactly.

  • streetlegal

    Actually this is a step forward from the old PC Plod mantra – ‘We never get involved in domestics’…

  • Bryan Magee

    Perhaps it does good for the public to better understand the work of the PSNI. Not just to attract recruits to the important work, but also to develop a better understanding of the extent to which the public can work in partnership with the police in solving more effectively the problems with which the PSNI often have to deal.

  • eiregain

    Im not saying outreach and relationship building is unimportant or doesn’t need improvement here.

    I AM saying that twitter is an improper vehicle for the task, and knowing the daily goings of officer Joe and his mates does not build relationships one iota.

  • Bryan Magee

    Eiregain: Further coverage of this initiative by PSNI officers can be seen here:


  • Croiteir

    Want something serious to discuss? Why is the PSNI, nearly a decade after Patton targeted for 50/50 policing still only 30% Catholic?

  • Cue Bono

    Because there was a long term freeze on recruiting, the discriminatory recruiting process has stopped and the current recruiting process is being chopped.

  • Croiteir

    For a decade?

  • kalista63

    I think ordinary domestics are a natural product of modern times, at this time of the year and I say that because things have gotten COMPLETELY out of control.

    Unless you’re decently waged, this time of year fills one with total dread and having less money does not decrease the pressure one iota. I’ve tried to reduce my expenditure by saying to relatives, there’s no need to buy pressys this year.mtrue enough, come the big day and they’ve boughr you something. So, that’s that blown out the window.

    Then there’s explaining to the kids that things are tight. Grand but they come back from the first day back at school and tell you what everyone got and it leaves you in 11 months of pain, of guilt. I don’t know if the cops are talking about the same thing I am but I’m talking about an annual build up of pressure that builds up in to a non violent flare up.

    I haven’t the slightest clue how to go about it but we need to reel this Xmas crap in because it has become the most miserable time of the year. My Twitter feed full of missing persons, suicides and desperation, unlike any other time of the year.

  • kalista63

    Btw, might be a good idea for Slugger to get an ordinary cop to blog hear and give us an idea of the issues they have at this time of the year.

  • carl marks

    You left out,
    Great day at Twaddell,

    nice to see the UVF/UDA dealing out the Xmas Cheer!

    policing tigers bay always a pleasure!

    got a happy xmas you black lundy b*s+$D card from the OO.

  • chrisjones2

    “improper” …what a wonderful phrase. Who decides what is proper then? Is it illegal or immoral? Why does it so annoy you

  • chrisjones2

    I know. Shocking that the discrimination against Protestants has been stopped

  • chrisjones2

    GIven that so many of them seemed to be pissed or stoned though they must have some free cash

  • chrisjones2

    twitter is a distraction

    Dont follow it then


  • Croiteir

    shocking that it has remained as a perception that employing Catholics is discriminating against Protestants

  • Bedhead1157

    PSNI East Belfast would probably just tweet a review of which chippy/kebabshop/chinese is best in Ballyhackamore/Belmont.

    That’s the only time you’ll see a peeler in East Belfast.

  • chrisjones2

    No that’s nonsense. Read the Act that created 50-50 . It specifically said it was about discrimination. And it was time limited to 10 years

    I just want to see the best people employed in all jobs. I don’t care what their religion race sex or anything else is

  • Croiteir

    That is entirely immaterial to the point I made. So I will say it again, a more important question is why, after about 20 years of the PSNI existence and 10 since 50-50 was abolished is there still such an imbalance in the composition of the PSNI. It is clearly failing.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “and disparaging comments about “eejits” and “a lot of young people out and about” hardly inspires community confidence (nor will it get you RTs and new followers). ”

    I disagree. I find it heartening that the police (and judiciary http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-27818440 ) feel free to use such terms.

    I’d expect this kind of “yours disgusted, Tonbridge Wells” type commentary from somewhere bland and soul-less.

    Northern Ireland has a lot of problems but one of its assets is the humour of the people and characters dotted throughout the land, trying to flag such acts as inappropriate when this humour or personality surfaces is a path to ‘purging’ the land if its individuality.

    What next? Complaining about the unprofessional conduct of bus drivers who write ‘home’ or ‘bed’ or ‘ZZZZZ’ on their destination board at the end of a shift?

    I say there’s not enough references to eejits or such like.

    I’d like an eejitry-o-meter, preferably with maps and colour co-ordination to show high-concentrations of eejits or an eejit forecast.

    And if it’s inappropriate or disheartening to comment that there are a lot of young people out and about when there is in fact a lot of young people out and about then when can some one comment on it?

    This is a stepping stone to placating the ‘Politically Correct Thought Police’.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    What’s your explanation or theory regarding this?

  • Croiteir

    I would put it down to a residual distrust and alienation from the state, the PSNI are still tarnished with the linkage to the discredited RUC.

  • Dazzer Fury

    Sluggar is anti peace process and anti PSNI so we see here a attack on PSNI for trying to be hipster and funky with some tweets lol.Is this a RNU owned blog??

  • Practically_Family

    Without official sanction, and hence oversight to a purpose defeating degree, that would be P45 inducing.

  • Croiteir

    See told you so – front page of the Irish News which means it will be an issue at the election – or should be