Greater Manchester Police are launching a new campaign against terrorism. They are encouraging people to call a new hotline if they have any suspicions. Their website quotes Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of GMP Counter Terrorism Unit, as saying:
People are often aware of unusual activity or behaviour, something which may be causing them concern. So we are asking people to trust their instincts and call the hotline, your information may help disrupt terrorists and ultimately save lives.
This all sounds like a good idea. The number, by the way, is 0800 789 321. Certainly the times have changed and it is now viewed as better to arrest and free an innocent man than allow a guilty man to kill dozens of people. This is something that will be discussed at more length in another post today.However, the GMP is ignoring one of the best ways to receive information; the Internet. They have a page of FAQs and here is the relevant one:
Q. Can information be provided through the email/Internet?
A. Information can be emailed through the GMP website at www.gmp.police.uk but the hotline is a telephone line only.
Notice that the link isn't to an e-mail address but back to the home page. The user would then need to find an appropriate e-mail address themselves. Frankly, the tone of the answer seems to make clear that GMP would much prefer a phone call than an e-mail.
While the internet might open up the possibility of more fake/mistaken information surely the police should want to have as much info as possible. Making a new hotline while ignoring the Internet seems like a half-measure.