NZ cops get ripped into on Twitter

NZ 23/05/2017

The New Zealand Police is tackling the modern version of bullying in a modern way, taking down the haters in a Jimmy Kimmel-esque video.

In the video, posted to its Facebook page on Monday, various officers read out some of the nasty tweets which have been sent to the NZ Police Twitter account.

"What a bunch of f***heads!" one reads, before laughing.

The video was released as part of Bullying Free NZ week and creator Simon Flagan hopes it will get people thinking about the serious issue of cyberbullying.

Mr Flanagan is the senior social media advisor for NZ Police and told Newshub while for them, good messages far outweigh the mean, they wanted to raise awareness for Bullying Free NZ week.

"[The video] has obviously a serious prevention message, because a large amount of bullying these days is obviously cyber bullying, with social media messages etcetera etcetera," he said.

"If you can make people laugh and at the same time spread a message about anti-bullying, it's a win."

The messages in the video leaned on the funnier side of the messages they can get, such as one reading, "@nzpolice what you think who you are? The ninja turtles?", which tripped up a number of the officers.

But they do get a lot of cruder ones.

"There are some things you just think, 'What - why are you... this is so unrelated to anything'," he said.

"Obviously there are some which are just too inappropriate to read out, but there are others which you just want to share with people because of how absurd of it."

One of the tweets targets dog handlers, saying: "If these guys have time to dress up a dog then someone is not doing his job."

In the video, a handler reads out the message to his K-9 and asks him what he thinks. On cue, the dog breaks into rapid barking.

Another told NZ Police to "get a life".

"I'm trying," the officer retorts.

Mr Flanagan hopes the video will help remind people it's not just physical bullying which hurts.

"It's something that I think not just police departments but individuals, and in particular younger individuals, struggle with. So hopefully they can take away a couple of things - that this stuff doesn't just affect people on the street but it actually affects everybody, even police officers," he said.

"But also that if there's someone who is doing that to someone, that tweets actually hurt too. It's still a negative comment and perhaps they'll reflect on their behaviour a bit and stop.

"It's not just us, it's a universal message."