I don’t believe that the police really want to engage with the public.
It is encouraging to see you all here reading this, but as a service we want to pay lip service to engagement, rather than use it to influence policing, and ultimately to reduce crime.
There is a massive resource out there that we regularly fail to engage with, often even when they want to engage with us. Its called the public.
The tweet above is a response to one from Jon Hickman, reporting an issue with porn magazines being flyered on cars in his street to his local police force. He felt so strongly about the response he initially got, that he created a detailed blog about it, complaining that the police didn’t seem interested.
He asked “Isn’t that [public passing titbits of information] what community policing is supposed to be about?”
(On a positive note the subsequent tweets from local neighbourhood team members were much more positive…but first impressions count).
How does your organisation deal with information, queries and intelligence from unusual sources? Are you welcoming or bureaucratic in your response?