Society has changed dramatically as a result of new technologies, and for many people their “community” is not particularly a geographic one but something that exists online. In September 2016 Leicestershire police started trialling a new project ‘The Cyber Beat’.
Two Officers within Leicestershire Police set up online accounts through Facebook and Twitter, the idea being to take the role on a neighbourhood officer online, being easily accessible to discuss local problems, take reports and give advice though social media platforms.
Two areas were chosen, Rutland and East Leicester. Evington falls under East Leicester. The officer running this part of the project is PCSO Ben Hill. Since the project has started PCSO Hill has tackled a range of issues from low level anti-social behaviour to a serious sexual assault disclosure and everything in between. Due to the success Ben and the other digital PCSO Matt Mcdade have had interacting with people online, the project has been extended until 1st March 2017.
The purpose is not to replace traditional, physical policing in our neighbourhoods, but instead to provide an alternative and additional community service. Follow Ben Hill on Twitter and Facebook by searching PCSO Ben Hill