How Nottinghamshire Police Enable Front-Line Staff To Engage Communities On Social Media
Nottinghamshire Police is responsible for policing the county of Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands. The force has a dedicated workforce of just under 3,200 officers and staff serving a population of over 1 million people. In a typical day, Nottinghamshire Police will deal with 966 incidents, register 225 new crimes, make 56 arrests, and solve 58 crimes.
Over recent years, use of social media across the force had reached a critical mass where manually handling multiple accounts, users, and passwords via a master spreadsheet had become unmanageable.
The force’s Digital Team recognised they needed to professionalise their approach to managing social media, gain better oversight of all activity, and enable Neighbourhood Policing and other teams to effectively use and publish to social media in a safe and controlled way.
- Adopt a less manual and time-consuming process for social media account management with a more professional management system.
- Eliminate the sharing of passwords and login details, and passwords being changed accidentally.
- Gain central oversight of all social media access rights and activity across the force.
- Allow the central Digital Team to act as a social media enabler and devolve social media publishing to local neighbourhood teams and other central teams who know their local communities best.
- Develop a process for effectively managing inbound enquiries from residents.
In a nutshell
“We knew that we needed to change our approach to social media in order to achieve our goal of providing an authentic and grassroots voice to the local communities we serve. Instead of a large in-house team doing everything, our role as the Digital Team is to enable others in the force to do things themselves – providing them with the tools, channels, knowledge, support, and guidance.”
“In order to do that, we needed a tool that could help us to monitor and control access to our social media accounts, while enabling officers and colleagues from across the force to get involved in social media and better engage their local audiences.”
“We chose SoCrowd because it was the best fit for our needs and the mobile app is extremely useful for our officers.”
With colleagues across the force now safely accessing social media, it was a case of establishing who was responsible for what. The Communications and Engagement teams would take the lead in responding to inbound questions and queries on social media, seizing the opportunity to create two-way dialogue with residents. While neighbourhood teams would be responsible for creating relevant content for and engaging their specific audiences.
“Across the force we started scheduling content for social media related to our 3 communication streams: corporate, local, and thematic. That could involve campaigns around recruitment and awards, through to national initiatives about knife crime and other issues, or action on local concerns.”
How we got here
Nottinghamshire Police now have 200 users on SoCrowd including their neighbourhood teams, and specialist teams like the armed police and fraud unit. They also have a number of highly successful individual accounts for specific officers who have built strong local followings.
“Because we’ve been through this process, our local teams now communicate messages directly to their area rather than through us. They’re able to send warnings, good news stories, caught on camera moments, and anything else that is relevant and important for their community to know.”
One of the greatest changes since adopting SoCrowd is improved efficiencies and time-saving. It used to take 30 minutes to post each missing person appeal, and with around 35 missing people each month this would add up to a significant amount of time. Today, the Missing Persons team have the ability to post these appeals directly themselves, saving the Communications and Engagement teams around 17.5 hours each month!
“Another big time saver was getting all of the statistics at the end of each month in one report. Previously we had to go into each social media account and get the numbers which could take 1.5 days. With SoCrowd we can get the same data in a fraction of the time.”
“We also have quite a high rate of people movement within policing and SoCrowd helps us ensure that our social media accounts stay active, by easily removing team members and adding new ones.”
“We also like that in the administration section of the tool we can see when users have last logged in. If we’ve seen that some users haven’t logged in recently, we can contact them to see if they need more training and support, or no longer need access.”
“We know that social media moves at such a pace and is constantly changing. All our front-line staff and officers are receiving smart phones which will transform the way we’re working and allow us to keep pace with as much of the community as we can, and social media is a big part of that!”
What they say
“When you’ve got many different accounts and users, you reach a point of critical mass where social media becomes unmanageable. You need a central platform like SoCrowd that can help monitor and control all social media access and activity.”
- Established a centralised dashboard view of all Nottinghamshire Police social media accounts, approved users, published content, and inbound engagement.
- Successfully devolved social media publishing, empowering neighbourhood and specialist teams to safely access social accounts to share relevant content with the public.
- Massively reduced monthly social media reporting time from 1.5 days down to a matter of minutes.