Last week there was a report on the BBC and other news outlets that the Greater Manchester Police had put out an order to limit arresting Muslims during Ramadan. A few blogs out there commented on this at the time - see here, here, and here. The interesting thing to note is in their comments appears a statement purporting to be from the Greater Manchester Police Press Office. The statement says that the whole issue was been misrepresented by the media.
After someone contacted me last night to ask if I thought it was genuine, I decided to give the press office at Greater Manchester Police a call and find out if they really were monitoring the blogs and putting out official statements on them. The answer was yes, the GMP press office was responsible for the messages.
This left me wondering, is this now an official policy for UK police authorities? Will we soon see press officers from other areas of the state apparatus posting press statements in the comment section of blogs? I imagine they'd get slated if they did it at Guidos
Incidentally, I notice the GMP still have the "Cones Hotline" (disbanded in 1995) listed on their useful numbers page. I got all nostalgic when I saw it.