Staffordshire Police is encouraging the public to share information through Staffordshire Smart Alert to help shape neighbourhood policing.
The system is used by Staffordshire Police, local authorities and Neighbourhood Watch to share community news and crime notifications. Following a recent redevelopment, the free service now includes the option for members of the community to easily reply to an alert and communicate directly with the sender.
The messaging feature allows the public to ask questions, raise concerns and feedback information to their local policing teams to help look after their neighbourhood and shape the way it’s policed. They will be using this information to direct resources to tackle the issues reported and address what matters most to the community.
Other new functions include a survey tool, the ability to schedule messages, an automatic translation feature which syncs with user preferences and enhanced GPS so that messages can be issued within a more specific geographical area. The website has also been redesigned to improve accessibility.
A new watch scheme has also been introduced, known as ‘CCTV operators’, where local residents with their own CCTV can register to provide information and support police investigations.
Smart Alert allows members of the public who sign up to the system to choose preferences for location, their preferred channel (phone, text or email) and the type of messages they receive. Options include:
• Crime and other police incidents, including witness appeals
• Rural policing, including crimes against farms and rural businesses
• Business alerts relating to location or business types
• Neighbourhood news and events, such as invitations to public meetings and police drop in centres.
Chief Superintendent Jeff Moore, Head of Neighbourhood and Partnerships for Staffordshire Police, said: “Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are actively using Smart Alert to raise awareness of recent police incidents, provide crime prevention advice, share the details of upcoming operations and drop-in surgeries, as well as responding to concerns and questions from members of the public.
“Local policing is at the heart of the work we do and Smart Alert is just one of the many ways we are engaging with our communities. We hope that the new features will help us to listen to the community more as we know how crucial information received from members of the public can be in preventing and detecting crime.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has signed up so far, and encourage others to join up as we look forward to improving our engagement with the public and working together to make Staffordshire safer.”
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Matthew Ellis added: “Communities are the eyes and ears that can help police to make communities safer and help to reduce and prevent crime. The power of communities to watch out for each other is invaluable.
“This redevelopment in the Staffordshire Smart Alert technology is an important step forward in empowering local communities and businesses and will help Staffordshire Police to engage with new audiences, including young people.
“In the future I hope to see the Fire and Rescue service and other partners using the Smart Alert system to also share their important messages.”