Despite social networking being, in part, blamed by some commentators for aiding the organisation of trouble makers, during last night’s disturbances in Birmingham city centre and beyond, twitter proved invaluable as a tool for finding information about what was happening.
City centre resident Miles Weaver also used twitter in a positive way – to organise concerned Birmingham residents to meet up at the Bullring this morning to help with the clean up and demonstrate a positive sense of community. Northfield MP Richard Burden also joined the clean up, where he was interviewed by Nicky Getgood of the Digbeth is Good blog.
Police have also used social media to issue information, reassurance and to publicise the release of CCTV images from yesterday.
However, with rumours abounding, where is the best place to find reliable information and advice during any disturbances?
Last night produced widespread rumours of violence and looting in Northfield, King’s Heath, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Coventry amongst other places. There was even a widely repeated rumour that Birmingham Children’s Hospital was under attack from unruly mobs. These were not verified and caused unnecessary worry.
You will obviously have individuals who are friends that may be at the scene of trouble and who you trust. Anything else from individuals you don’t know should be considered less reliable and may even be false. Use official sources where information is verifiable and other local news sources, such as trusted hyperlocal blogs like b31.org.uk and others as a starting point.
West Midlands Police have today released a press release advising residents what to do if there are troubles in their area. You can read the full statement here. The public have been reassured by the police and council that today is ‘business as usual’ in Birmingham city centre.
Here, we list some useful web and twitter key trusted information sources that you may want to keep an eye on this evening – and for any incidents in Birmingham. We will, of course, be monitoring these and other sources throughout the day and will share any relevant information, mainly via our twitter account
- B31 blog Twitter Facebook
- Birmingham South Police Twitter Website Facebook
- West Midlands Police Twitter – Brumpolice Twitter – WMPolice Website
- West Midlands Fire Service Twitter Website
- Birmingham Resilience Team Twitter Website
- Birmingham Post Twitter Website
- Birmingham Mail Twitter Website
- BBC Midlands Today Twitter
- BBC News Birmingham & Black Country Website
- ITV Central Twitter Website
- National Express Buses Twitter– nxbus Twitter – BristolRdXpress
- London Midland Rail Twitter