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SussexPol: The masters of new media

I write a lot, maybe too much, about the way the police service use new media. I cant help it, its a topic that i cant help but find fascinating because its one of the biggest challenges facing police forces across the country. Its a unique challenge for a few reasons...most significantly because its where modern policing clashes with 'old school' policing. It is important that the police find ways to engage with the public in the most effective way possible, but as its not a core policing objective there is conflict over funding and importance. New policing is, arguably. about the balance of 'customer service' against solving crime and protecting the public. Thats open to debate about the pro's and con's, but most people cant argue that thats where we are now; there is more focus on customer service than ever before...which i see as on the whole a good thing. Anyway...

I hope they don't mind me using this!
I felt the need to write again because i cant help but be impressed with how Sussex Constabulary have virtually (no pun intended) mastered the world of new media, and i wanted to give them a bit of blog space.

In Summer 2011 they had a triumph of an 'interactive day' (link pending). I didnt see everything that day, but from what i did see i this consisted of 3 or 4 'channels' of video which included interviews and spotlights on different departments. This was backed up with some excellent twitter discussion that i enjoyed a lot.

Their 'day to day' twitter accounts are both informative, and allow individual personalities to shine through. I have met at least one person who i can see becoming a good friend of mine, and i look forward to some possible collaborations.

What has prompted me to write this brief article, is my discovery that they publish virtually all of their policies online. This is a huge step for transparency in the police service. It demonstrates a move from 'secret unless published' to 'published unless secret', if i may coin a phrase. Those who work for the police will know how much work would have been behind such a move, and they most certainly deserve our admiration for their many 'new media' successes.

My own force has achieved a lot in this area as well. I have had amazing support from my new media team in terms of this blog...they have showed a great foresight, trust and patience with me and DJ. There are many other examples across the country, and i wish i could mention them all.

The future of the police service is in collaboration, and i cant see any better area within which to take the plunge than in new media. So...New Media Teams; share share share.