West Midlands Police YouTube tops 2-million views
18 October 2012
ONLINE audiences are tuning in to West Midlands Police’s YouTube in their droves with the number of ‘views’ the channel’s notched up now topping the 2,000,000 mark!
The milestone was reached on Tuesday (Oct 16) when CCTV showing a karate-kick attack on a pensioner in Wolverhampton bus station was watched more than 40,000 times – and prompted new information that’s led to suspects being arrested.
West Midlands Police is the only UK force to have smashed the YouTube two-million barrier and, with new channel subscribers joining every day, sights are already set on reaching 3,000,000 views.
Digital Services Team multi-media expert Tim Dudley said the variety of footage, plus giving subscribers ‘exclusive’ video clips, is key to the video hub’s success.
He added: “Content is king because if we’re not uploading interesting, entertaining and informative video then people won’t tune in.
“This year we’ve featured dramatic car pursuits, raids, quirky items like our Pup Idol series, firearms training and interviews with senior officers, plus police footage showing how we’ve captured offenders and uncovered hauls of stolen goods.
“It’s important to give subscribers something they can’t see anywhere else, exclusive snippets and behind the scenes insights. That’s exactly what we do.”
The channel has also played a key role in fighting crime and catching criminals as CCTV footage of suspects uploaded to YouTube – and signposted to via other social media – has repeatedly led to officers receiving nuggets of new information.
Many suspects have been identified and arrested as a result of responses to YouTube videos.
West Midlands Police Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson, said: “This just goes to show the vital role social media plays in modern day policing…we’re continually exploring new ways to communicate with the public and encouraging them to take an interest in our work. And that includes helping us catch criminals!”
The most popular video is West Midlands Police’s own version of Cash in the Attic with footage showing one-million pounds in used notes hidden in a loft being watched almost 330,000 times – that’s a combined view time of 19 days and eight minutes!
Around 1.3-million views are from UK-based browsers but the channel is also popular in the USA (165,000 views), Holland (40,000 views) and Canada (34,000).
Surprisingly, Hungary (19,000) features in the channel’s Top Ten viewing nations – no doubt due to CCTV earlier this year showing a Hungarian trucker driving the wrong way on the M6!
And West Midlands Police video has even been watched as far afield as Mauritius (246 views), Suriname (101) and the French island of Reunion where 134 people have tuned in.
Tim Dudley added: “We started using YouTube in July 2008; we’ve uploaded more than 260 videos and at the last count have 1,116 subscribers.
“Most people are still accessing our YouTube via computers or lap-tops but interestingly around a quarter of a million views are on mobile phones."
Here are some of our most popular videos:
• £1-million cash found in Birmingham loft (327,830 views) http://youtu.be/q5q_4ulZ220
• Shots fired at police officers and helicopter (189,695)
• Britain's Got talent dance sensation Aidan Davis visits Steelhouse Lane police station (116,175) http://youtu.be/4bfwOHKfHZA
• Police chase getaway driver in 180mph Audi RS5 (57,338) http://youtu.be/hmNSZWZJZLY
• M6 wrong way lorry driver jailed (41,097) http://youtu.be/Tfshtop5jUw
• Pup Idol part two (35,940) http://youtu.be/7NPErOv7BRc
• Canal jumper fined after falling on his face (32,778) http://youtu.be/dTTioHqQ2hE
• Police recover eight illegal firearms (31,097)
• Air operations at Blues vs Villa (28,544)
• Teen “2mm from being shot” (18,752) http://youtu.be/ehzq9OdE2w0