Social media academy set to be introduced for Bedfordshire Police

Police are hoping a more consistent approach to social media will help keep people up to date on community policing

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:50 pm

Online tracking and a more consistent social media presence are two methods Bedfordshire Police is hoping will enable it to keep people up to date on community policing.

The PCC, Festus Akinbusoye, told the chief constable at last week’s PCC’s Delivery & Beating Crime Meeting (October 21) that he is concerned how the visibility of community policing varies across the county, and wondered what could be done to keep residents up to date.

“A concern for me is around deployment in terms of how the officers are utilised within the community teams,” he said. “I know I can't use social media as a basis for evaluating everything, but I think it's fair to say that there's certain parts of the county where the level of proactive patrol is more noticeable than in other parts.

Bedfordshire Police is introducing a social media academy

“Central probably has the least amount of visible patrols. Is there any way you could actually track and monitor visible patrols?” he asked.

The chief constable, Garry Forsyth, said, “We’re working on some technical developments that will enable the public to see when a local beat officer has been [in their area].

The PCC said that he has been monitoring police updates on social media and he found that the public really appreciate posts that give updates on patrols and the actions taken on local concerns.

“I think we need more of that,” he said.

The chief constable acknowledged that some community officers were more proactive on social media than others.

“I recognise there is more that we can do certainly around having greater visibility to the public through technology, and making sure that our social media is consistent across the whole of the county,” he said.

”We’ll be implementing a social media academy to ensure that we’ll have a more consistent approach around social media across all the community teams.

Each community officer will spend a week at the academy, engaging with social media as part of the training so that they get an understanding of how it can be used to share information.

“So we'll have a shared level of confidence and competence in engaging on social media and we should have a higher standard of consistent delivery,” the chief said.