DPC Discovery Work: Social Media as a Contact Channel

06/03/2017 - 17/03/2017

Digital Public Contact logo

This discovery project, part of a six-week series of three discoveries, is about understanding how our communities want to use social media channels to contact the police.

Digital Public Contact (DPC) and the Police ICT Company are working together on a discovery to explore how policing could best use social media channels to capture reports, information and enquiries. The DPC programme is led by Chief Constable Simon Cole, pictured below.

The discovery will last two weeks, and involves working closely with a number of key partners from police forces, the College of Policing and the wider policing family and, most importantly, speaking to the community.

Simon Cole, Chief Constable, Leicestershire Police

Simon Cole, Chief Constable, Leicestershire Police

The high-level goals of this discovery are to explore how communities currently engage with the police using social media and whether they might want to do more. We’ll cover existing tools and their usefulness, what other agencies and organisations are doing in this space and identify what demand there is already for contact via social media.

We will be posting updates about the work but to find out more about this discovery or the wider Digital Public Contact programme, get in touch with Selvin Baker, Programme Manager.


Steph Brown, Content Designer, Digital Policing PortfolioSteph Brown, Content Designer, Digital Policing Portfolio, talks about why it is so important to think about not only whether we use social media as a contact channel but what we say on it when we do use it:

“Hi! I’m Steph from RKH and my role on this project is as a content designer. Over the past two weeks, I’ve offered my advice on what good social media contact looks like and I’ve spent time looking into how similar organisations are using social media themselves, in both good and bad ways.”

Read the rest of Steph’s blog.


Leanne Carlin, Business Analyst, Digital Policing PortfolioLeanne Carlin, Business Analyst, Digital Policing Portfolio, explains why we need to start with exploring the current landscape and how this has been accomplished:

“My role in the Social Media as a Contact Channel discovery work has been ‘business analyst’; this means I have spent my time working closely with the team and with forces to understand and document the current ‘as is’ situation; how we do things now, as well as the ‘to be’ world; what we could do.”

Read the rest of Leanne’s blog.


Yasmin Nobbs, Programme Support Officer, Digital Policing PortfolioYasmin Nobbs, Programme Support Officer at the DPP, takes stock of the work accomplished so far and looks ahead at the second – and last – week of this discovery:

“At the beginning of this discovery we set ourselves a challenge; how can policing use social media effectively as a contact channel? We are now into our second week of discovery, working with the Police ICT Company, as well as colleagues from across policing, and it dawns on me that although we have covered so much already, we still have much more to do!”

Read the rest of Yasmin’s blog.


Anthony Jackson, Contact Centre Manager, Merseyside PoliceAnthony Jackson, Contact Centre Manager at Merseyside Police, provides fascinating insight into the drivers behind this discovery project as well as a quick glimpse of where forces are in terms of providing modern contact options for the public:

“The discovery work I am supporting this week, alongside the national Digital Public Contact Programme and the Police ICT company, is taking place in the year that the 999 service is 80 years old. The pace of change within social media means that as a service we need to understand what the expectation is from our communities, and how we can deal with it appropriately.”

Read the rest of Anthony’s blog.