So after lots and lots of emails and memos in the past reminding us about social media networking sites and how we should be carefull, I now have a facebook profile with a picture of me (taken from my attestation) in uniform, it feels really strange!
No I havnt ignored all that I have been told, I am actually taking part in an official study in to social networking media and it's future in neighbourhood policing. Exciting stuff eh?
The objective is to see how people respond and interact with the police online in such environments. 6 officers are taking part in the study (2x PCs, 2x Sc's and 2x PCSO's) half are using an area (such as Lewes) and half of us are using ourselves representing an area (eg Alan Thorn (me) representing Kemptown Brighton) this is guage on what level people engage with, official or on a personal level.
The study will run for a minimum of 3 months and will feed directly back to the Home Office at regular intervals.
Im not a huge consumer of such social media (only just started blogging) so this has been a bit of learning curve, perticularly Twitter (heard of it but never used it before).
Today was Day #1 of tweeting & updating (so that the public can see what I actually do during my duty and how it affects their area) and have noticed that albeit a small number of followers that a few are way up the ladder of Sussex Police.
Hopefully people will feel confident enough to start discussing issues that they have in my targeted area (Kemptown, Brighton) and of course the wider audience can become involved.
There are of course a few official police facebook pages and some profiles on specialist subjects but nothing on quite such a personal level and with involvement in day-to-day policing (correct me if I am wrong). Will be very interesting to see how this is received by the public.
Look forward to your thoughts on this.