Northern Ireland

Craigavon PSNI use social media to reach communities

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption The PSNI in Craigavon have created the character "dissident Dan" in a facebook post

Sixty-two people have been reported to police in Craigavon and 12 charged in connection with dissident republican parades in the town.

In a post on their Facebook page on Tuesday the PSNI in Craigavon said they spoke to 58 people in connection with parades in March and May but they were confident that number would rise - and it has.

The PSNI have increasingly been using social media to connect with the communities they police.

In this particular post they warned people of becoming involved with "Dissident Dan".

In it they said: "Remember this guy? Well in March and May, Dissident Dan and his mates had a few days out.

"True to form, Dan and his goons contributed to their communities in the only way they know how; with intimidatory gatherings, violence, disruption, and creating fear for locals."

Towns and cities across Northern Ireland have their own Facebook pages and twitter profiles from where they keep people updated on what they are doing.

While many posts are straightforward reports of crime, some are often written in a humorous and acerbic way.

Image copyright PSNI

The "Dissident Dan" post said young people had been involved in the trouble surrounding the parades on 26 March and 28 May and rioting on 28 March.

"Unfortunately during that they also managed to drag several youngsters into the fray, encouraging them to get involved in violence and action against their own communities," the post continued.

"Those youngsters were then abandoned by Dissident Dan and his mob to take the fall.

"The message from the local majority was clear; we want to move on and away from this, and do not want it in our community.

"We heard that, and we acted."

The PSNI said any incident of paramilitarism and organised violence would be "dealt with robustly",

"We have shown we have the means to do this, in order to protect the 99.9% who wish to keep moving forward and we will continue to do so.

"Where there is evidence of an offence, our Public Order Enquiry Team will investigate these incidents whenever they occur, whoever is behind them, and wherever it takes us."