Police project to provide an online platform as alternative to phoning 101

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

The non-emergency 101 number has long been the object of adverse criticism but an online alternative, as outlined by Chief Inspector Roy Hodder at the Annual General Meeting of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation at Lewes last Wednesday, is the subject of a six month project beginning this month.

The Single Online Home, which has been pioneered by the Metropolitan Police, is a platform aimed at offering the public a consistent way of engaging with their local force and accessing police services online.

Such a platform would allow all of the 43 forces across England and Wales to standardise their online “shopfront”, including the first stage of contact across a range of scenarios in which the public might need to contact the Police.

The project acknowledges the fact that people often find it difficult to interact digitally with the Police and is therefore aimed at instilling instinctive understanding of the process.

The police envisage that the Single Online Home could offer users basic incident reporting, transactional services, personalised content – including an individual history of police interactions – and also a means of contacting the police anonymously.

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For officers, the platform should provide a means to develop relationships with the public, as well as tools for monitoring the progress of ongoing interactions.

Sussex Police are also looking to recruit volunteers as part of Operation Signature, which is the force campaign aimed at identifying and supporting vulnerable victims of fraud.

These volunteers will be very carefully vetted, trained and accredited and a background in such areas as banking and IT will be advantageous.

The East Worthing Community Panel will meet at 6.30pm on Tuesday, November 27 at the East Worthing Community Centre in Pages Lane, and the Town Central Neighbourhood Police meeting will tale place at 6.30pm at the Ardington Hotel on Thursday, November 29.

• For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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