Calls for police officers to use social media

Social media and a manned police station are among recommendations

Social media and a manned police station are among recommendations - Credit: Archant

ACCESS to police should be easier and officers should be using social media to interact with the public, a report has ruled.

The report, compiled by North Herts district councillors, suggests ways neighbourhood policing could be improved in the area.

In particular, it highlights the possibility of giving officers in rural areas mobile phones to communicate with residents and suggests opening manned police shops in town centres.

And Cllr Paul Clark, who chairs the panel which prepared the report, told the Comet social media could be utilised by police.

He said: “Specials constables use Twitter and sometimes, dialling 999 is intimidating. This would be another way the residents can interact directly with police and get answers back.

“Herts is a safe place, but there’s still the perception of crime. We don’t want to allow it to get its feet in the door, we need to keep the door firmly shut and make sure people are safe.”

The report, which has been sent to Herts Constabulary, will be considered by North Herts District Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, February 19.

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It praises partnership working in the area, claiming the constabulary “punches above its weight”.

“Accessibility to the police is important,” it adds.

“The group recognised the constraints on budgets, but it would be useful if police officers had mobile phones... or if there was a manned police shop in town centres to allow the public to speak to the police.”

Herts police commisioner David Lloyd echoed those views.

He told the Comet: “Clearly I want the police to be very much part of a community, I think that’s really very important.

“The days of police stuck in police stations are gone and we need to see if there’s a base, whether that’s a supermarket or school or library or office.

“It’s really important we look at all sorts of new ways of interacting with people.”