Police Facebook appeal pays off

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A NEW police Facebook page has seen a teenager charged with criminal damage after an appeal for information was posted.

Several pictures of graffiti tags were posted on the Billingham Neighbourhood Policing Team page as part of a Cleveland Police appeal for information.

The graffiti was sprayed on to residents’ garages and fences, school entrance signs and large walls that faced busy streets across the town.

A member of the public who saw the graffiti on the Facebook site contacted police to say they thought they had information.

A 17-year-old youth has been arrested and charged with seven offences of criminal damage relating to graffiti and will appear in court next week.

The Billingham Facebook page was launched last month alongside the Twitter page already set up for the town.

Officers use the page to raise awareness about what neighbourhood officers are doing, to prevent crime, dispel rumour and appeal for information.

Inspector Andy Fox, from the Billingham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Social networking sites are extremely popular tools so it’s only natural that we would use this free resource to spread our appeals far and wide.

“I’m pleased we were able to gather information from our newly created page, it shows me that people are not only taking notice of what we put, but that they are also responding to us and supporting us to reduce crime across the Billingham area.

“I would urge anyone living in Billingham or the surrounding areas to join our Facebook and Twitter pages and spread the word about the work that we are doing.”

Anyone wanting to join the pages can visit www.facebook.com/billinghamnpt or www.twitter.com/billinghamnpt