Detectives turn to social media in hunt for Hartlepool arson killer

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OFFICERS investigating the murder of a Hartlepool dad have turned to social networking sites in their bid to make a breakthrough in the case.

A team of 30 detectives and police officers are currently carrying out a search for the person responsible for the killing of 44-year-old Andrew Simon.

Updates and information on the murder investigation have been put on the Cleveland Police Facebook and Twitter pages and on the force’s website.

And the investigation team say social media is an important and useful way of spreading the message and sneering Andrew’s killer.

The dad-of-three died of smoke inhalation after a fire ripped through his home in Dent Street, Hartlepool at 12.50am on Tuesday, June 11.

Detective Superintendent Peter McPhillips said: “It’s important in any major investigation that we use everything at our disposal to reach out to residents for information.

“Social media is an excellent tool to enable us to get our message across 24 hours a day, seven days a week with people accessing information at home, work or on the move.

“Anyone who has a Facebook profile can share the information on the force page and those with Twitter can retweet messages in order to spread the appeal further.”

Cleveland Police’s social media sites have more than 24,000 people following and liking pages and profiles and officers are urging social network users to share information and updates on their pages. The social network appeal comes just a day after a direct hotline to contact the murder investigation team was set up as officers continue to search for information in the hunt for the killer.

More information can be found on the force website at www.cleveland.police.uk or by visiting www.facebook.com/clevelandpolice or www.twitter.com/clevelandpolice. The hashtag #andrewsimonmurder has been created. People can also call the investigation team directly on (01642) 302198.