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PSCO back on Twitter after police retraining

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

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A Twitter-using police support worker has returned to her online community with messages of thanks for the "overwhelming" support she has received.

Exeter-based Police Community Support Officer Sarah Giles told her 1,000-plus followers on Tuesday she had been ordered to close her account and undergo retraining.

Her tweets on @TopshamPolice, which followed the everyday happenings of life on the busy beat, included comments about students which led to a complaint by the Exeter University Student Guild.

PCSO Giles' bosses ordered her to undergo training, prompting a campaign to have her stream reinstated under the special hashtags #FreetheTopsham1.

However, at 10.14pm on Wednesday night PCSO Giles was tweeting once more, with her first message a link to an expanded message of thanks.

The support worker wrote: "The key to learning from experience is trust, support and feedback. A really positive (I know, I know but honestly, trust me, it's the right word), supportive and understanding discussion with my supervisor has resulted in my twitter and facebook accounts being unsuspended/reinstated/given the go-ahead to resume. Basically I can start boring you to tears with jokes about fowl play by geese on the estuary again! Whoopppeee!!

"We have swapped ideas, had a really good chat about Twitter (and cake – it was a police meeting after all!) and come up with a plan! *rubs hands together in conspiratorial manner* In a constructive, open and honest discussion (I know how it sounds, but trust me, remember?) we talked about the pitfalls and the positives of social media as a public engagement tool for an organisation like the police."

PCSO Giles added that she had been overwhelmed by support which had come from "members of public in Topsham, Exeter and elsewhere as well as from officers up and down the country using both private and police accounts. It quite clearly sends the message that you like the human face of policing – which is great news 'cos so do we!"

PCSO Giles' account was inundated with messages welcoming her back to the micro-blogging site, which she replied to, thanking all of her followers.

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