‘My three favourite ways we’ve been using our digital Community Messaging service… and why you should sign up today’
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A neighbourhood policing inspector has revealed his three favourite ways he’s used the force’s Community Messaging service, as his team use the technology to prevent crime and make their beats safer.
Community Messaging is an email or text message service that people sign up to and receive emails about crimes and other policing-related information in their area.
To mark Neighbourhood Policing Week which is currently taking place nationally, Richmondshire Neighbourhood Policing Team has revealed some of the unusual and innovative ways they’ve used the service.
They’re also encouraging people to sign up so they can share their views about local policing in their community.
Richmond-based Inspector Martin Metcalfe said: “Before I used Community Messaging, I had no idea how powerful it could be. We’ve used it to tell people about loads of stuff, from rural crimes to road closures.
“But then we took it to the next level, and now we’ve using it to get people’s thoughts and feedback on how we deliver policing where they live. It’s like a big local conversation, and the feedback I’ve got has been incredible.
“We don’t just listen, we actually use this information to influence what we do in communities and where we target our resources.
“Then afterwards, we tell residents ‘you said this, so we did this’ which gives people an added feeling of reassurance and shows them we’re listening. Residents love it!”
Inspector Metcalfe revealed his three favourite ways he and his team have used Community Messaging are:
Stopping anti-social behaviour: Community Messaging was used to notify residents of action the team was taking in a community in the Catterick area. Several youths were running amok and police and residents wanted to stop them. Residents were encouraged to share information, which directly helped police identify the trouble-makers and deal with them. Residents were sent follow-up messages to reassure them the police were doing further crime prevention work.
Improving road safety: Everyone wants their community to be safe. But sadly a lot of residents have concerns about speeding. So the team encouraged people to share these concerns through Community Messaging, then visited the hotspots to carry out enforcement work. They monitored the number of speeding offences, which dropped by 60% in a month after a police presence. Then they shared the results with residents via Community Messaging emails, which were greeted with strong approval. The team is now working to improve dangerous parking on zigzags outside several schools.
Tackling real-time crime: The team recently used Community Messaging to warn people about a bogus door-to-door cold caller in Richmond. While officers investigated, residents were sent warning alerts so they could be on their guard and help police track his whereabouts by calling in with information.
Insp Metcalfe added that Community Messaging does not replace the service provided by “Bobbies on the beat” – it enhances it and gives residents more say about what matters to them.
“The number of people in Richmondshire who use it just keeps growing and growing,” he said. “This time last year it wasn’t many at all. Now it’s more than 3,500.
“The key for us is to interact with people, encourage them to share their feedback and use that to deliver even better local policing. It’s a positive cycle that will keep getting better the more people we can get on board.”
All areas of North Yorkshire are covered by Community Messaging, with emails sent by local neighbourhood policing teams in each area.
You can tailor Community Messaging to the area you live or work in and can unsubscribe at any time.