In its effort to actively distribute information to the general public, the Reykjavík Metropolitan police added social media to its toolkit in December 2010. The Reykjavík metropolitan police (RMP) began utilising social media in its approach to actively distribute information to the public via all types of media, to enhance visibility and increase access to the police.
Using social media to solve many of the tasks of the metropolitan police is essentially broadening the ways the public experiences the police. This is especially important now, when budget cuts have resulted in reduced patrols. Instead, social media gives police the ability to be ‘seen’ and ‘experienced’ by more people than they would if they were only in cars, on bicycles, motorcycles or foot.
When the RMP was founded on 1 January 2007, one of its main objectives was to ‘enhance the security and feeling of security amongst those who live, work or stay in the metropolitan area’. Ten focus points were defined to guide the RMP towards this objective, including increased visibility of the police, pro-active policing in conjunction with stakeholders and increased dissemination of information. The RMP started a number of projects to meet these goals, for example giving regular information to the media. During these projects the importance of having direct access to the general public was eminent since the local media was not always accessible and the target groups were not always being reached.
At the same time much had happened regarding the use of social media. A large part of the population in Iceland was for example using Facebook and/or Twitter. It was therefore decided within the RMP to use these advancements to increase the visibility of the police force, increase security, the perception of safety and thereby the overall wellbeing of the community; a tall order.
This new way of policing has been well received by the Icelandic public. Today the RMP Facebook page, one of many social media tools used by RMP, has over 40,000 followers, over 20% of the total population in the area, and a high reach every week. This effort has also proved to be vital for the Icelandic police in the early measurements of trust towards institutions in Iceland. The police is now measured at an 82% trust level, i.e. 82% of the population in Iceland have a great deal of trust towards the police. That is the highest level the police has seen since the beginning of this measurement 20 years ago.
|Award category:||weathering the storm. creative solutions in a time of crisis - supra-local and local level|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Police, social media, modernisation, security|
|Short English description:||In its effort to actively distribute information to the general public, the Reykjavík Metropolitan police added social media to its toolkit in December 2010. The Reykjavík metropolitan police (RMP) began utilising social media in its approach to actively distribute information to the public via all types of media, to enhance visibility and increase access to the police.|
|Organisation:||Reykjavík Metropolitan Police|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||11-15|
|EU membership:||other European country|