Savvy smartphone users will soon be able to access the latest news from Essex Police through a brand new app.
The app will enable residents to receive localised messages straight to their device, from Essex Police officers, staff and key partners such as Neighbourhood Watch.
Those who sign up will be able to select information on what they would like to receive – based on where they live, work or socialise. A new photo feature will also allow users to view images to identify stolen property and help find missing or wanted people.
In its first year, ECM has already proved useful in alerting residents to crime and missing people in their areas – and even assisted in the conviction of a bogus charity collector. Earlier this year, PC Sam Waters sent out a message to alert Wickford residents about a man who was believed to be knocking on doors requesting sponsorship money for charity and using the money for his own gain. The ECM message led to 12 people coming forward with information.
On the information that was received, a 30-year-old man was arrested and later admitted four counts of fraud by false representation. He received a 12 week suspended sentence at Basildon Magistrates’ Court.
Chief Supt Luke Collison, ECM Project Lead, said:
Following the success of the initial ECM platform, we were keen to develop a smart phone app version. We recognise that more and more people in Essex 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 that communities are up to date on local policing issues. The ECM app allows us to target our messages to ensure we get the right information to the right people.
This is the first smart app that Essex Police has launched and we are convinced it will help many people stay safe across the county.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
We’re continuing to develop Essex Community Messaging to make it even easier to get key crime and community safety information out to local people faster than ever. It’s also essential that ECM provides a channel for a two-way flow of information between Essex Police, our Watch groups, and the people of Essex.
I encourage everyone to sign up to ECM. It’s a great way of learning simple measures to prevent crime and it also provides an opportunity to report suspicious behaviour which may help Essex Police to bring criminals to justice.
Information on how to download the app is available on the ECM website: www.essex.police.uk/ecm
To comply with the Freedom of Information Act, the Parish Council must publish details of what information it holds, how members of the public can access the information and what charge will be made for providing such access. The Council is in the process of preparing the fairly extensive document required of it and meanwhile anyone wanting information should contact the Clerk to the Council.
Charges will be at cost and at the Clerk’s discretion.