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‘Virtual policing’ scheme launched

Chief Constable Gary Roberts, centre, and Superintendent Simon Lowe, right, launch TweetbeatIoM with Jim Gamble of INEQE, the firm which is helping to implement the service

Chief Constable Gary Roberts, centre, and Superintendent Simon Lowe, right, launch TweetbeatIoM with Jim Gamble of INEQE, the firm which is helping to implement the service

Manx police have launched the world’s first 24 hour online interactive police patrol.

‘TweetbeatIOM’ went live yesterday (Monday) and allows the public to talk live online to a police officer at any time via a smart phone, PC, tablet or laptop as well as highlighting real-time incidents.

The system has been implemented by INEQE a company which provides services relating to internet safety and new media platforms.

INEQE chief executive Jim Gamble said: ‘It’s the first place this has ever been done. With the previous Twitter and Facebook you had something that generally operates Monday to Friday, nine to five, it’s an information resourse, not interactive. This is like the virtual bobbie walking down the actual beat and they can change from that virtual presence to a very real physical presence. It’s real, not symbolic, it’s not simply one-way information, it’s a real 24/7 police patrol online.

‘The officers are trained so that if something comes up that’s sensitive they will direct it offline.’

Chief Constable Gary Roberts said: ‘It’s very much about tailoring it to what individual people need. Some people spend a lot of time on social media so we’ve got to cater for that. .’

‘The cost is less than one half of one per cent of our operational budget. The operational budget is what we have when salaries and all other people costs are taken out.

‘This year that is less than £1.25m, 90 per cent of the overall budget comprises staff costs, what is left is operational budget used to run things.

‘Tweetbeat has actually cost very little, I can’t give precise figures because of commercial issues, but it works out at less than half the starting salary of a new Constable.’

Type ‘tweetbeatIOM’ on twitter and follow to receive the live police updates.

 

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