Essex Police to text residents with local crime updates

Essex Police have announced plans to text local residents to let them know of any crimes that have been committed nearby.

The Essex Community Messaging (ECM) system sees local residents sent texts, emails or voicemails to report instances of local crime. Anyone who wants to opt-in to the scheme only has to provide their contact details and the specific location about which they want to keep informed. This doesn’t have to be a person’s home, but can be their workplace or school.

It’s not just the location that sign-ups can specify but the types of crime as well – to ensure messages are completely relevant. Signing up to the scheme is free, as are all messages received.

The ECM system has been set up to be a two-way process, so message recipients can reply to their texts if they want to find out more information or provide any they may have. It also has a photo function, so stolen goods can be identified quickly and missing or wanted people can be tracked down effectively.

If the scheme proves to be a success it could be adopted by police forces around the UK to provide quick and accurate information to local communities.

Project lead, chief superintendent Luke Collison, told “Following the success of the initial ECM platform, we were keen to develop a smartphone app version.

“We recognise more and more people use mobile technology and we clearly want to be a part of that in how we deliver modern policing. We want to share as much information as we can with the public, quickly and efficiently, so communities are up to date on local policing issues.”