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140 characters make a sentence as police tweet from court for a day

Order, order! West Midlands Police is tweeting from Birmingham Magistrates Court for a day.

Order, order! West Midlands Police is tweeting from Birmingham Magistrates Court for a day.

The tweets before the beak show the range of cases faced by a court in an average day, and demonstrate that justice is being done for a range of minor crimes. More serious crimes are referred to Crown Court for trial by jury.

Brummie lawbreakers brought bang to rights include elderly shoplifters, disorderly drunks and disqualified drivers. Many of the cases are alcohol-related, including a surprising number of counts of shoplifting booze.

No police officers are occupied with the Twitter experiment, as staff of the court's press office are doing the 140-character court reporting.

Twitter trials have been in the news recently after Stephen Fry said he was willing to go back to prison over the conviction of Paul Chambers. Chambers was fined thousands of pounds in the so-called Twitter Joke Trial for tweeting about blowing up an airport.

Last year Manchester Police tweeted every 999 call during an average day. It was a clever way to show that crime statistics are only a small part of the work done by the boys and girls in blue, giving an insight into the wide range of problems and issues encountered on the beat.

West Midlands Police is currently planning a Twitter feed for its helicopter as the long arm of Twitter takes to the skies. 

Is this an interesting insight into the judicial process, or is Twitter just for discussing what you had for lunch? Deliver your verdict in the comments or at our Twitter account.