Nearly three months after the RCIPS launched a new community policing initiative, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne says he believes the it’s making a difference in the community. Part of that is embracing technology one key stroke at a time.
“As I went around communities, the big issue was ‘I have no connectivity with my police officer, with my beat officer,'” Mr. Byrne said. “Now we resolve that issue.”
The idea of community policing is making officers accessible. The RCIPS is using newer methods, like WhatsApp.
“I’m really encouraging that, this idea of the phones,” he said.
Nearly three months on from the launch of a new community policing programme, he says the benefits are starting to show.
“Feedback is quite good,” Mr. Byrne said. “Very pleased with the feedback in terms of some of our officers are getting really embedded, getting connected.”
He says not all the feedback has been positive and the RCIPS is taking that on board.
“We are aware that there are trust issues,” Mr. Byrne said. “We have been working very hard, very hard over the last number of months to build that trust.”
He says this initiative goes a long way in establishing that trust.
“It’s about one of trust and confidence, respect and integrity,” Mr. Byrne said. “It’s establishing our legitimacy as a police service.”
He hopes as officers continue to develop relationships with their communities, those residents will begin to trust and help police even if that’s one WhatsApp message at a time.”
Click here here to learn how you can contact your community beat officer.