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Police spend £350,000 a year on Instagram account that targets teenagers

Police spend £350,000 a year on Instagram account that targets teenagers by asking them: ‘Why do the police have rainbow cars?’

  • The Yourpolice.uk initiative, an Instagram account run by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), costs £350,000 a year
  • Instagram posts range from memes on Brits during a heatwave and a list of ‘the best cop movies in order’ to explainers on child criminal exploitation 
  • Social media account has been criticised by police officers as a waste of money
  • NPCC says account led to hundreds of crimes against children being reported 


Police chiefs have sparked fury among their ranks for spending £350,000 on a social media account aimed at engaging with teenagers – rather than putting more officers on the ground to address youth violence.

The Yourpolice.uk initiative, an Instagram account run by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), allows youngsters to report crimes and publishes ‘reliable information, advice and weekly quizzes’ according to the page. 

But the social media account, which costs £350,000 a year and includes explainers on why police officers have rainbow cars, has been criticised for wasting money which could be put to better use elsewhere. 

A police officer told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Should NPCC be spending £350,000 a year to run an account which promotes such things as rainbow cars and calls it ‘youth engagement’? Wouldn’t such money be better used to help intervene in the mass youth violence.’ 

The social media account, which costs £350,000 a year and includes explainers on why police officers have rainbow cars, has been criticised for wasting money which could be put to better use elsewhere

The Instagram account has 19,400 followers and has posted 732 times. The posts range from memes on Brits during a heatwave to explainers on child criminal exploitation

The Instagram account has 19,400 followers and has posted 732 times. The posts range from memes on Brits during a heatwave to explainers on child criminal exploitation

One post on the Instagram page includes a list of 'the best cop movies in order'

One post on the Instagram page includes a list of ‘the best cop movies in order’

The Instagram account has 19,400 followers and has posted 732 times. The posts range from memes on Brits during a heatwave and a list of ‘the best cop movies in order’ to explainers on child criminal exploitation. 

The NPCC is currently looking for a Digital Engagement Officer with an annual salary of £33,628 to work on the account, which is £10,000 more than the starting salary for police officers. 

The NPCC has since defended its initiative and said it has led to hundreds of serious crimes against children, which may have gone unreported, being investigated.    

The NPCC has since defended its initiative and said it has led to hundreds of serious crimes against children, which may have gone unreported, being investigated

The NPCC has since defended its initiative and said it has led to hundreds of serious crimes against children, which may have gone unreported, being investigated

One post includes an explainer on whether busking is illegal in the UK

One post includes an explainer on whether busking is illegal in the UK 

A police officer speaks about only having to get up early twice every ten days during shift work

A police officer speaks about only having to get up early twice every ten days during shift work

A spokesman for the NPCC said: ‘Speaking to and working with teenagers across the UK is an absolutely vital part of the police’s role to protect people and reduce crime. The world is changing and everyone would agree that one of the best ways to speak to young people is through social media.

‘The YourPolice.uk Instagram account has more than 10,000 interactions with teenagers every month and hundreds of these are reports about crimes, concerns or intelligence being shared with police.

‘It is a testament to the efforts of YourPolice.uk that serious crimes against children, that would have likely gone unreported, have now been investigated and young people have received support they otherwise wouldn’t have.

‘Officers engage with their local communities in many ways including meetings, coffee mornings and social media. Having this range of ways to speak to police makes the service as accessible as possible for everyone.’ 

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