House Rules for Interacting with us online

Engaging with people across Lancashire is a priority for us and is at the core of our mission to keep you safe and make you feel safe.

We use social and digital media to communicate with you, have open conversations, ask for your help and seek your opinions. To do this we use a number of channels, the main ones being Facebook and Twitter.  We also use Instagram, Periscope, Google Plus and YouTube.

We regularly post and add content to these sites, including appeals for information and help; daily news and updates; information and insights on who we are and what we do; images of suspects; court results and sentencings; crime prevention advice; local information relevant to your area;  These may include both video and audio.  We do this for a variety of reasons - to seek your help in fighting crime, to raise awareness of issues that could affect you and to keep you informed of news from the force. 

We now have nearly 425,000 people following our social media accounts plus 26,000 people signed up to our community messaging service ‘In The Know’. On average our social media messages are seen by over 300,000 people every day and we encourage you to communicate with us using these channels.

What we ask from you when you are using our channels

We encourage you to use or channels to contact us, ask questions and give us your opinions on what we do.  When you do, we’d ask you to stick to the following requirements so that our channels provide as good an experience as possible for all our communities:

  1. Please don’t use social and digital media channels to report a crime or information about criminal activity to us. Please call us on 999 in an emergency or, if it’s not, you can use our online reporting facility here https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/. You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report information about criminal activity.  This service is completely anonymous, you won’t be asked to provide any contact details and you won’t have to go to court
  2. Do not post messages or content that could be deemed to be abusive, defamatory, hateful, racially offensive, sexually offensive, obscene, inflammatory or unlawful.
  3. We want everyone to feel comfortable using our sites to communicate with us so please do not swear in your posts or post anything distasteful.
  4. Do not use our sites for posting spam or adverts for products or services you or your business offers.
  5. Do not post your personal details, such as your address or phone number, when posting publicly on our sites. If you have contacted us and an officer or staff member wants to contact you in return offline, they will privately message you, if possible, asking for your contact details. Only provide these if you are comfortable doing so.
  6. Do not post any material that you do not own the copyright to.
  7. Do not pretend to be someone else.

We reserve the right to remove posts that breach these guidelines without explanation.  If any user consistently fails to follow these requirements then we reserve the right to block them from any or all of our channels.  We want to reassure you however that we see this very much as a last resort and we will do our best to warn people first so they have an opportunity to moderate their behaviour.   What you can expect from us

How often will I see your updates?

If you follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook, you can expect regular updates, more frequently on weekdays, but also at weekends.

If there is a major incident that affects a lot of people in Lancashire, or an emergency situation where getting accurate information and instructions to you quickly is essential, we will use the Lancashire Police Facebook page and the @lancspolice Twitter account as the main platforms for distributing that information. Much of the information will contain links back to this website for more detailed information/explanations.

We also use our Community Messaging Service ‘Stay In the Know’ to provide local update, crime news and appeals, targeted by area and a number of interest groups which people can sign up to e.g. Rural Crime.  We already have nearly 26,000 people signed up so if you want to join them have a look at the website here https://www.stayintheknow.co.uk/

Will you reply to me?

If you send a tweet to us or post on our Facebook page, you can expect us to reply if you need an answer.  Whilst we do our best, please bear in mind though that we can’t always reply to everyone who posts and it may not always be possible to reply immediately. There are often topics or cases that we can’t discuss in detail for a number of reasons, including criminal proceedings being active (i.e. someone has been charged with an offence and will be subject to court proceedings where they have a right to a fair trial) or investigations being under way. If this is the case, we will tell you. We also never name anyone who has been arrested on suspicion of an offence but hasn’t been charged.

Can I report crime online?

We don’t currently take formal reports of crime on our social media channels, but we have got a dedicated online reporting facility on our website which can be used to report all non-emergency crime/incidents.  Use this link to access https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ If you use one of our social media channels to report any crime/incident we will aim to re-direct you to the online reporting service on our website.

Can I follow my local Neighbourhood Policing team?

All our local teams have a dedicated Facebook account and many also use Twitter.  We also have dedicated twitter accounts for a number of specialist audiences e.g. rural crime.  A list of all our Facebook accounts is on our Get Connected > Facebook Page and you can have a look at all our Twitter accounts on our Get Connected > Twitter page.  @Lancspolice also has a public list with tweets from all the force’s Twitter accounts.

Why are you following me?

If we follow you on Twitter, please don’t assume we are monitoring your online activities or you are in trouble. We follow people and organisations that we are interested in and relevant to policing, community safety, and Lancashire in general.

Do you remove posts?

Generally, we will not remove posts from members of the public that are made on our social and digital media channels, as we really want to hear your opinions on the issues that matter to you and have a conversation with you, while maintaining a family friendly format. However, we will consider removing posts or blocking users or accounts that breach the guidelines outlined above, without any explanation.


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