FUNNY cop Mark Walsh has taken to posting hilarious video clips on social media in a bid to engage youngsters.
The innovative Fareham-based PC launched his own Vine channel putting the six-second videos on Twitter.
PC Walsh told The News his use of Vine – a website that allows users to publish brief self-recorded clips – was prompted by young people he works with urging him to join the social media site.
The videos cover a wide range of policing, from warnings about carrying knives to busting the myth that a pregnant woman can urinate in a policeman’s helmet.
Enlisting the help of his daughter – and a number of costumes, including wigs – his clips have clocked up thousands of views online.
His most popular video yet shows the camera looking at a knife with him imitating someone saying ‘I need this for protection, I need this for respect’ – before cutting to a uniformed PC Walsh saying ‘don’t be stupid’ at the camera.
If young people are in that space we need to be there to get our messages acrossPC Mark Walsh
PC Walsh told The News: ‘We’ve had Vines for a while now. I work with young people and they told me it’s where it’s at.
‘It’s a bit of a risk for us when you’re a public servant and you can’t please everybody.
‘I didn’t think it would engage people that much.’
But he added even critics of the police have been in touch since he started using it last month, to praise his work.
PC Walsh, who leads the restorative justice project Hampshire Community Court working with young offenders, said he is lucky that Hampshire Constabulary has given him the space to work on such projects.
The community court recently celebrated its first year in operation.
He added: ‘If we didn’t keep up, people might not want me in that space.
‘If young people are in that space we need to be there to get our messages across.’
He added the young people he works with urged him not to do straightforward clips of him talking about issues and instead came up with the videos.
He has even used the popular Minion characters from the Disney film Despicable Me to get his messages across.