Social media is beginning to prove its worth in community engagement roles across public services. Some police services have had locally-based accounts for some time (notably the Greater Manchester and West Midlands forces). West Mercia are just putting their toe in the water. Of course being late to the party means you can learn from those who went before. @southsidecops seems to being doing a decent job and they came in to their own at the end of January when a suspicious vehicle caused widespread disruption.
[UPDATE: 1400 13/02/2012 Those same @southsidecops have pointed me to this blog from a local reporter which also praises their work over this incident]
Here’s an edited version of their work around that incident (bear with it it’s an embed from Storify). Click here if it’s not working for you.