Community Alerts – what are they and why should you be interested?
Having listened to the public and what you were telling us you wanted, we knew we needed to find a way for our police officers to communicate with our communities, quickly, easily and whilst on the move.
We also knew that we wanted a way for people to keep in contact with us and for us to contact you in the ways you prefer. For example, farmers told us that they prefer text messages as they often don’t have a good internet connection via smartphone so email was no good. Neighbourhood Watch, on the other hand, favour phone calls and email as they’re often based at home.
The challenge was to find a way of doing it all! Previously, we relied on multiple communication methods. It was time-consuming and complicated. So….we came up with Community Alerts!
So how do they work?
An officer logs in to the Community Alerts platform, which can be accessed via our mobile devices while out on patrol, meaning we can reach the community within a few clicks.
An officer chooses to send a voice recording, text message or email (or all three) through the system. They can then choose to send a targeted message to either a particular group, such as Neighbourhood Watch or Farmwatch members, or residents within a set radius around a particular postcode.
The message goes out quickly to the right people and in the right way! It can also mean that officers get immediate eyes and ears on the ground if we are looking for someone or something!
What does that mean for you and for us?
Within the first few months alone the Constabulary has sent 69,231 text messages and used 10,106 minutes of message call time. We have also sent out many many emails via the system.
This means you are getting information relevant to you, directly from us and very quickly. We are putting out alerts, crime prevention information, warnings and appeals….and it’s working! You are helping us to help you!
The system is working so well it has caught the attention of other forces across the UK. The constabulary’s website, which was launched two years ago, has also seen a doubling in its user base within a year, serving 2.5 million users in the last 12 months.
Our community alerts, social media messaging and our website means that we are able to communicate directly with you without relying on the media. You are hearing directly from police officers within your community. So sign up, and get information directly from your local policing team and help us to help you!