A LIVE policing event is taking place across Sussex today (Friday, October 28) to give the public the chance to interact directly with officers and staff via video-links.
As part of the Sussex Police People: Live initiative, people will be able to join in with web chats, interactive walkabouts where they direct the access-all-areas cameras, crossovers with offline community events and a non-stop conversation with hashtag #SPPlive on Twitter.
The day marks the start of Sussex Police People, an ongoing commitment by the force to provide an up-close and personal view of policing directly from those doing the job, and to promote new ways for people to keep in touch with them.
Chief Constable Martin Richards explains: “We’re in a period of extraordinary change for policing with important questions being asked nationally about the transparency and accountability of police forces. In the midst of this debate, it hasn’t always been easy to show the public what policing is really like or give them an easy way to talk to us and get more involved.
“Sussex Police People is our answer to this. It will provide a behind-the-scenes view of how we police Sussex and a window to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of our police officers and staff. We will be showing the public aspects of policing that they might not know about, and offer new ways for local people to share their views with us.”
Twelve people across the force will be regularly sharing their policing stories in pictures, videos and words.
The participants are armed with smartphones allowing them to update and communicate often when they are out and about, without them needing to disrupt their normal day. During the live event, premium ad-free video streaming provided at no cost to Sussex Police by Bambuser will keep viewers in the picture about everything going on.
The officers and staff have volunteered to take part and will post updates to the Sussex Police website via Tumblr.
Mr Richards added: “We will lift the lid on policing in 2011 and highlight many ways people can interact with us, whether online or off. While the live event may last a day, we have a genuine and lasting commitment to being open with people about how we work and listening to their views.”