People in West Swindon and other parts of Wiltshire will be able to sign up for free messages – by email, text and voicemail – about policing and crime matters in their area by joining Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging which is being officially launched next week.
Wiltshire Police, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson and Wiltshire & Swindon Neighbourhood Watch Association are officially launching this new two way communications tool with a number of community events next week with the West Swindon event taking place on Thursday 21 August, 10am to 12noon, at Link Centre.
The messaging service will go live in four neighbourhood policing areas of the county, but people who live or work outside these areas can still sign up and they will receive messages as and when their area neighbourhood policing team starts to use Community Messaging.
PCC Angus Macpherson, who is commissioning this new initiative, said: “Both myself and Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty are committed to involving communities in the prevention and reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour, in line with priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and the Force Delivery Plan.
“Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging is an exciting new system allowing the police to send emails, texts and voicemail messages to those signed up. It means we will be able to share information quickly and efficiently with our communities, including Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and members.”
People signed up will be able to receive messages about policing and crime matters in their area, such as community policing news and events, appeals for information and crime prevention advice.
They will also be able to reply to messages, feeding back information to their local neighbourhood officers to help them in policing their local area.
Neighbourhood policing officers, supported by some Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, in the four initial areas are hosting stalls to talk with members of the public about Community Messaging and show people how to sign up. These events are taking place as below with the Commissioner and Chief Constable due to visit the events in Malmesbury and Swindon West:
Malmesbury – Tuesday 19 August 1pm – 3pm – Market Cross, High Street
Pewsey – Wednesday 20 August 11am – 1pm – outside Co-op, High Street
Swindon West – Thursday 21 August 10am – 12noon – Link Centre
Warminster – Friday 22 August 10am – 12noon – Three Horseshoes Walk
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty added: “This is an additional tool with lots of potential for us to use to engage, inform and involve our communities in policing and crime matters. This is in line with our ethos to see pro-active, preventative policing becoming a permanent feature within Wiltshire Police and involving communities and more volunteers in policing and crime related issues."
The Office of the PCC, Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire & Swindon Neighbourhood Watch Association have been working together to set up Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. It is part of a national system called Neighbourhood Alert, which is used by national Neighbourhood Watch and 12 other police forces.
Wiltshire & Swindon Neighbourhood Watch Association Chairman Gwyn Comley said: “We are really looking forward to using this new messaging system, which will mean we have a central database of our coordinators and members. During the sign up process, people are also asked if they wish to be part of or start a new Neighbourhood Watch scheme and I would encourage people to do so.
"The aim of Neighbourhood Watch is to bring neighbours together to create strong, friendly, active communities where incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour are less likely to happen."
Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging is being commissioned by the PCC in line with his priorities in the Police and Crime Plan and his commitment to involving partners, communities and volunteers in the reduction and prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Joining Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging is quick, simple and free. There are no contracts, costs or obligations of any kind for anyone who signs up.
Join Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging at one of the launch events and at www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk