Police chiefs look to address ‘inconsistent’ use of social media with nationwide strategy

Written by Sam Trendall on 18 May 2018 in News
News

National body looks to draw up an ‘evidence-based strategy’ for forces’ use of social platforms

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has kicked off a project to address the lack of governance, standards, and common practices in forces’ use of social media.

The NPCC’s Digital Public Contact (DPC) programme is to undertake a project to map police forces’ current use of social media. The project will then move on to the creation of a single, nationwide strategy for using social platforms, as well as a plan for implementation.

The current landscape is marked by inconsistency in how forces are using social media, and to what effect, the NPCC said. Moreover, the variance in “governance and standards poses a significant risk”.

The ultimate strategy will aim to encompass three key uses of social media, as identified by police chiefs. These are: social media as a means to contact the police; as a way of addressing local needs; and as a tool for engaging children and young people.


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The project is entering the discovery phase, for which the NPCC’s digital arm is seeking to appoint an expert supplier to work with the national policing body over the course of a two-year contract. 

“The Digital Public Contact programme has pledged to give the public access to the policing services they need, when, and how, they need them,” the contract notice said. “The DPP, therefore, seeks to procure services to create a unified evidence-based strategy and implementation plan for social media that is customer-focused and drives a transformation in how the police respond to and provide real channel choice for the communities they serve.”

The successful bidder will be expected to work with the DPC’s social media team at the NPCC’s headquarters in central London at least two days a week. Additional video and telephone meetings will also be required, as will occasional travel to other parts of the country. 

The NPCC expects to assess bids from up to three suppliers. Bids are open until Monday 28 May, with a contract scheduled to start on 11 July. No estimated value for the deal was provided.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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