Sussex Police to broadcast live

OFFICERS in Sussex are broadcasting a live 24-hour video stream of their working day from today (Friday October 28).

The initiative, Sussex Police People, is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Visitors to the force’s website are able to follow officers across the county via video-links as they undertake patrols on foot and in cars.

From 6am the public have been able to interact directly with staff through their personal Twitter accounts and via #SPPlive.

Chief Constable Martin Richards said: “We’re in a period of extraordinary change for policing with important questions being asked nationally about the transparency and accountability of police forces.

“In the midst of this debate, it hasn’t always been easy to show the public what policing is really like or give them an easy way to talk to us and get more involved.

“Sussex Police People is our answer to this. It will provide a behind-the-scenes view of how we police Sussex and a window to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of our police officers and staff.

“We will be showing the public aspects of policing that they might not know about, and offer new ways for local people to share their views with us.

“For me, policing has always been about people. The personalities, experiences and stories of real people, either those who work for us or those we are here to help, bring policing to life. I hear these stories everyday and am eager to share them with you.”

The participants are armed with smartphones, allowing them to update and communicate often when they are out and about, without them needing to disrupt their normal day.

The premium ad-free video streaming is provided at no cost to Sussex Police by Bambuser.

Officers’ posts will not be edited or delayed.

Mr Richards added: “The technical side is interesting, but what’s most important is how Sussex Police People well help us speak and listen to local people in the best ways possible, to help them better understand what we do and to make us as accessible as possible.

“Some of this can be achieved by innovative use of technology, but this will not be at the expense of other effective methods.

“We will lift the lid on policing in 2011 and highlight many ways people can interact with us, whether online or off. While the live event may last a day, we have a genuine and lasting commitment to being open with people about how we work and listening to their views.

“I’m hopeful that people who are interested by the event will stay in touch well into the future.”

The schedule of live events planned includes an interactive forensics lab tour, a simultaneous offline and online public meeting in Hove, a web chat with the Chief Constable, a diving exercise by the Specialist Search Unit and an evening of operational attachments with the Road Policing, Dogs and Neighbourhood Response teams. Click here to follow Sussex Police on their daily rounds