News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Avon Police Discover Blogs and Webchats

Avon and Somerset Police seem to be making strides forward in their use of web technology as a means of inter-facing with the public.

Two developments have caught my eye in recent weeks.

First was the new blog by Andy Bennett, Chief Inspector of Avon and Somerset Constabulary. It's a slightly curious contribution to the blogosphere. On the one hand it's got some interesting content about neighbourhood policing and citizen focused policing; on the other hand there's a post about the recent police protest in central London over the terms of the police pay settlement.

The posts are about one a fortnight so the feed burner won't find it too taxing keeping up with the blog's output. Nor, incidentally, do I expect CI Bennett's blog to achieve the popularity of that by the pseudonymous DC Copperfield whose irreverent view-from-the-thin-blue-line
Policeman's Blog is an Internet phenomenon and looks set to propel its anonymous author into a lucrative book and (who knows) Hollywood film deal.

The second offering from Avon and Somerset has actually been around longer. The Webchats aim to bring members of the public face to face (in a virtual sort of way) with front line senior officers. It will probably do my Google rankings no good whatsoever to admit that I've never taken part in a webchat (unless you include that conversation I had with a technician from India via Blueyonder Support when my Internet connection was lost for three days.) The next scheduled one is with Inspector Julie Bowle and Sergeant Timothy Hill on all things police-related in east Bristol. I wonder how many Eastville and St George residents will be logging on on Feb 27th.

If I find out I'll let you know.

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