RESIDENTS and businesses in Tamworth are now able to receive free timely crime alerts and community safety advice.
The Staffordshire Smart Alert App and website is thought to be the first App of its type in the UK and is set to improve engagement between Staffordshire Police and the public.
The Staffordshire Smart Alert App and website, which is for people aged 12 years or over, has been launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Matthew Ellis allows local people to receive Staffordshire Smart Alerts by email direct to their phone or tablet or through an App.
Information can also be personalised to find out more about rural, horse, canal, school and cycle crime as well as the option to input your address to receive alerts local to your area. The alerts will include incident numbers and contact details so members of the public can contact Staffordshire Police if they have any relevant information. Businesses across Staffordshire can also choose to receive crime alerts that are relevant to their industry sector.
Staffordshire Smart Alert has been developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Staffordshire over many months and has been tested by young people, local officers and existing Neighbourhood Watch (NW) members. The project’s development has been supported by Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators and members and Staffordshire Smart Alert fully supports the development and growth of NW groups in Staffordshire.
PCSOs are now trained to send Smart Alerts whilst out on the beat. The Force’s Community Engagement Team are also fully trained.
Mr Ellis said:
“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 is an important step forward in empowering communities. It will mean people can now receive local, targeted alerts on crime and community safety when and where they want them. 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.”
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.
“My ambition for the second phase of Staffordshire Smart Alert is that officers will be able to send real-time alerts to update users on a crime that has just taken place, or currently taking place, in the local area” 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 is an important way of helping people to get more involved with local policing in their neighbourhoods.”
The free Staffordshire Smart Alert App can be downloaded from the Apple and Android App stores or you can sign up to receive email invites via the website www.staffordshiresmartalert.uk