This week as I looked forward to the start of the Policing Social Citizens conference in Manchester tomorrow (26th and 27th June) the BBC reported that nearly 1/2 of the crime that frontline cops are dealing with is online including abuse, threats and ASB. You can see the full story here at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27949674
As we have blurred social networks online and offline, feeling safe in both spaces feels important to us. Those of us with a reasonable experience of using social networks will appreciate when something is a genuine threat such as the Caroline Criado Perez incidents but can pretty much manage general anti- social behaviour using the the tools provided by the social networks themselves such as blocking or muting and reporting. The same as in physical streets, we use our experience to decide on keeping ourselves and others safe.
Quick list of the obvious stuff this throws up-
1 Visibility – many services are increasing a regular presence on our social media virtual streets and are increasingly adept at using social networks to work with blurred on and offline networks
2 Clarity on what constitutes online ASB – this term is difficult enough to agree on with offline communities…online, it becomes a nightmare. People are allowed to be cross online and unpleasant online.
3 Understanding the online community – the various digital spaces/ networks within their “patch” and their ability to feed them with the resources they need to prevent issues/ and self service in terms of online safety and perception. Without replicating the lonely officer sitting in a church hall engagement motif!
In Brighton several charities including a domestic abuse charity, a money advice charity and an LGBT mental health charity are delivering services digitally …so this presents an opportunity – but how connected and supported are they in the digital neighbourhood beat? (Note – they probably are as Sussex police do tend to engage well) but how many people can they reach etc… How effectively does the civic network function?
Anyway, this is super rough and ready…you tell me where it’s wrong or point me at better posts!