Tyne & Wear

Northumbria Police Facebook wanted man plea splits opinion

Police Facebook page Image copyright Facebook/Northumbria Police
Image caption Police want to speak to Jack Wilson for "breaching" bail conditions

A police force's direct Facebook appeal to a wanted man has divided opinion among users of the social media network.

Northumbria Police posted "just a quick message" to Jack Wilson, from Ryton, reminiscing about previous dealing and begging him to get in touch.

Some called it "brilliant", but others a "waste of taxpayers' money".

Mr Wilson later handed himself in to the force, which confirmed he was no longer breaching bail conditions.

A spokesman said Mr Wilson had a curfew after being arrested for offences including witness intimidation and criminal damage.

The post read: "It isn't that much of an ask to stick to your curfew and now you're avoiding our calls. We're beginning to think you don't want to speak to us."

Image copyright Facebook

Following the opening introductions, the post continued: "You only have a couple of options now.

"You either pay a little visit to a police station or you give us a call on 101 and we come and pick you up.

"It would save us all a lot of time and we would be really happy to see your face walking through our doors.

"We're a friendly bunch and just want to keep local people safe. I'm sure our followers will back us up on that."

It concluded: "So Jack, do us all a huge favour and get in touch. We can't wait to see you.

Image copyright Facebook

Within three hours of being posted on Facebook, the message had been shared more than 4,200 times and attracted more than 1,400 comments.

One Facebook poster said it was nice to see a "different approach".

They added: "How many people are now talking about this? Far more than if they had just seen a page saying this kid has skipped bail."

Another praised the force for "using their brains and funny bones".

'Shocking behaviour'

But others were more critical.

One said: "Makes me sick to be a taxpayer knowing my money is being spent on sarcastic posts."

Others called it "unprofessional", "immature" and "shocking behaviour from the police".

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