Community Messaging Goes Mobile

by PCSO Andy Smith
Published: Last Updated on

Thanks to New Smartphone App

An innovative community messaging system in North Yorkshire gets even better this month, with the launch of a new smartphone app.

North Yorkshire Community Messaging is a free system that lets people register to receive the latest crime notifications and community news in their neighbourhoods.

The new app, now available to download for iOS and Android devices, takes advantage of geolocation technology, allowing users to receive important alerts that are relevant to them—wherever they are in North Yorkshire.

More than 15,000 people are already signed up to receive alerts. In the last four months alone, 832 messages have been sent out to the public, businesses, and Rural and Neighbourhood Watch groups across York and North Yorkshire.

As North Yorkshire Police is geographically England’s largest single county force, the community messaging system is the biggest of its kind in the country.

Members of the public can choose to receive messages via email, text message, social media or voice call. The app means users can now receive push notifications straight to their smartphones and tablets. They can also receive alerts based on their current geographical location—crucial for avoiding road closures, helping to find missing people and even staying safe during a large-scale emergency.

North Yorkshire Police became the first police force in the UK to launch a smartphone app back in March 2011. More than five years on, the community messaging app is designed to take advantage of the latest mobile technology. Geolocation is a particularly useful tool in rural areas where alerts can be shared to an audience across a wide area very quickly.

Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Winward, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We want to be the most responsive police service in England, and our new community messaging app is a great way to help us achieve that.

“Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are already using community messaging to raise awareness of recent crime trends, highlight the availability of property marking sessions, and inform the public about upcoming crime prevention operations. The new app opens up new possibilities for us to use notifications and geolocation technology to make the system even more effective.

“The information and intelligence that we receive from community messaging users is crucial in preventing and detecting crime and anti-social behaviour, so the more people that join Community Messaging, the safer North Yorkshire will be.”
Signing up to North Yorkshire Community Messaging is free, and only takes a few minutes, visit northyorkshirecommunitymessaging.co.uk.

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