Social Media Within Police Force: Potential Not Recognised

Social media without even realising it, plays a huge part in what we do everyday, from Joe Bloggs logging onto their Facebook, Twitter or Bebo account through to companies embracing sites to emphasis their brands. But for some people is social media being used in the way intended? Not so it seems for the police force.

According to sky.com, if networking sites such as the above were used productively, the boys in blue could potentially change their understanding of future gatherings. For instance, in the past upheaval has been apparent with protests such as the G20 in London back in 2009, subsequent attacks on police officers and so on. A report carried out by the police watchdog, has clearly outlined the time for change, forces need to as they have said, “adapt to deal with the changing dynamics of public demonstrations.”

With an increase in mobile usage and social networking sites, the way in which we conduct our daily lives is changing. Demonstrators looking to organise protests are now using such sites to get their message across as well as upping their group numbers. As sky.com stated, the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary looked into this, and found that 40% of forces within Britain were not adequately trained for larger scale protests, along with a lack of planning.

To tie in with this, Roy Ramm ex-police commander said, “Whereas in the past you might have had one demo organised by a trades union or a student group, nowadays others can find out about it on the web and join in in a more dynamic way and the police need to understand that.”

What are your thoughts on police using social media in this way? Can you see the plus sides, or will it potentially be more of a hindrance? Are you a police officer yourself, what do you think?