Over the last couple of months we’ve been working with Sussex Police on a project around Virtual Policing – we’re very excited about how this is going so far.
The idea behind the project is to get some real facts and impact measures around the effects of Neighbourhood Police Officers using social media to interact with their local communities. There is already a huge amount of anecdotal evidence to show the efficacy of the Police engaging with communities online but we wanted to take this to the next level of evidence and demonstrate the effects in terms of changes to the confidence, trust and information measures that the Police use to gauge the effect of their neighbourhood work.
We have a number of PCSOs, Specials and Officers trained up and in the field now and we are in the process of doing the first round of data collection on the project with the aim of publishing inital results later this month (or early February). We have set up a separate research blog for the project which you can find here: Virtual Policing Blog and we will be putting updates and research results here as we go along.
We’re delighted to be working with Sussex Police in order to create what we hope will be a valuable link in the evidence chain around the operational use of Social Media for the Police.