In A continued drive to maximise contact with the people it serves, Tayside Police last week launched its Community Smartphone App – the first policing app of its kind in Scotland.
A revolutionary step forward in community engagement, the app will allow people to see what their police officers are doing in their neighbourhoods, as well as keeping them abreast of the latest Tayside Police news. Residents can view crime statistics for their local authority area and engage with the Force through social media channels.
The app is available to download now for iPhone and Android at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tayside-police/id580227484 and for Android on Google Play at http://play.google.com/store/search?q=MultizoneLimited
Independent UK-based social and mobile software specialist Multizone Limited have developed and delivered the app for Tayside Police.
Tayside Police Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie, who is the national lead for social media within UK policing, said: “Tayside residents can now use the app on their smart phones to see what their community officers are doing in their local area, as well as getting a snapshot of current operational policing issues and commitments as they happen.
“Furthermore, it provides an invaluable platform for us to provide quick time information and advice in times of major incidents and events and allows us to keep people informed as to what’s happening.
“This excellent resource will serve both the police and the public of Tayside very well.
“It does not replace other means of communication – the importance of the local bobby attending local meetings will never be taken for granted. But the opportunities that social media present to us further enhances our ability to interact with the community and provides an immediacy that can only be of benefit to everyone using it.”
Many officers have been ‘tweeting on the beat’ for the past year and more, but numbers increased significantly a couple of months ago when more than 70 community police officers were provided with smart ‘phones, training and tapped in to the policing part of the mobile application. This has allowed them to become comfortable in digital interaction with the community.
High quality Google Android-based HTC smartphones were generously provided by Vodafone for the initiative.
Angus Fox, director at Multizone said: “This app is not designed to replace the traditional community council, but it is designed to reach anyone who gets their news and information via new technologies. People shouldn’t just assume that this is reaching out to the youngsters – the demographic is, in fact, wide and varied.
“People of all ages and from all backgrounds are comfortable using smartphones and other technology at home and on the move and they all have an interest in the police and policing.”
Tayside Police has embraced social and digital media, recognising how the opportunities they create complement more traditional methods of policing.