RESIDENTS and businesses across Staffordshire will soon be able to receive real-time crime and community safety advice from Staffordshire Police thanks to the development of the Staffordshire Smart Alert App.
Commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, the new system will allow local people to receive Staffordshire Smart Alerts by email or through an App on their smart phone. Information can also be personalised through preferences to select interest types and locations.
Staffordshire Smart Alert will also support the development and growth of Neighbourhood Watch groups (NW) and people will be able to find established groups in their local area or start a new NW group.
Staffordshire Smart Alert has been developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Staffordshire over many months and will launch later this year after testing is complete. The project’s development has been supported by Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators and members. A number of them saw the App for the first time last week and were excited by the new technology which, it is hoped, will attract a wide audience from across the county.
PCSOs, alongside the Force’s Community Engagement Team, are now trained to send real-time Smart Alerts whilst out on the beat.
Mr Ellis said: “This is an important step forward in empowering communities. It will mean people can receive local, targeted messages they want, on crime and community safety. It will also make sure communities can help police in turning the tables on crime.
“The Staffordshire Smart Alert technology is an important development which will help communities and businesses across Staffordshire and help Staffordshire Police engage with new audiences, including young people as well as those they already communicate with.”
Once launched, a second phase will ensure that Staffordshire Smart Alert uses cutting edge technology to help keep the communities and businesses of Staffordshire safe and reassured. Amongst planned development is the introduction of automatic location-based GPS technology and links to social media.
“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,” Mr Ellis added.
Jane Sawyers, Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, said: “We fully support this new initiative and are working closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to increase our engagement with our communities and businesses. Staffordshire Smart Alert will be an important way of helping people to get more involved with local policing in their neighbourhoods.”
Full launch details of Staffordshire Smart Alert will be provided soon following testing.