Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Some thoughts to make you SMILE

Today was the first day of the SMILE conference.
Social Media Internet Law Enforcement

An opportunity for police and others to consider how Social Media (SM) can be used more effectively. Bringing subject experts, experienced officers and staff, Comms experts and a range of presentations provides everyone with an opportunity to share, learn network and enjoy the benefits and opportunities of SM whilst appreciating the challenges and pitfalls

Some very powerful presentations provided much scope for debate and thought. Chief Constable Chris Sims in his usual straight talking and impactive manner, opened proceedings supported by WMPs PCC David Jamieson. Both were themselves supported by a collection of excellent images of policing over the years. 

Ian Hopkins DCC in GMP gave a powerful rendition of the values and integrity that should support SM, but linked it clearly to a range of highly valuable benefits and operational successes. Leadership in SM at its best from the two largest forces outside London. 

I enjoyed Dan Bartons input, he is head of Comms in the West Mids Police. He showed exactly what can be achieved by a strategic and integrated approach.

I had never heared of Eau Claire and assumed it was a perfume. In fact it's a great area of Wisconsin policed by some real forward thinking leaders. Kyle Roder gave an impassioned address about their approach to SM. A really impressive delivery.

There then followed a mixed group including West Mids Fire, London Ambulance, and West Mids Police. Again some very personal perspectives on the challenges of making and applying SM strategies.

After the CCL presentation (see next post) we heard from Pascal Renes from Belgium covering the challenges of managing SM across the many separate police forces in Belgium. More creativity much more insight. 
Then to top it all a non stop delivery across the web from Peter Sloly of Toronto Police. So many excellent points and issues raised. It would be unfair to summarise in a short paragraph

The total delivery for the day included a whole panoply of issues and ideas. No one can have failed to have been impressed with the variety.

So some thoughts from me

SM cannot just be imposed on staff, they need to feel part of it
You can't wait to give direction about SM to your staff. Your either keep up, or you will lose them
SM benefits are wide and strategic and far outweigh any minor discrepancies
There are however real dangers of officers or staff giving away operation details or becoming corrupted.
No organisation is too small or too big to offer learning to others.
SM is here to stay. It can't be banned or denied, only guided and harnessed. 
There does need to be a way to stop stupidity and certainly an approach to prevent criminality 
Matching the risk and threat with appropriate response is highlyvaluable 

I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow's inputs. 

Finally a massive thanks to Lauri Stevens without whose dedication commitment and energy this would fail.


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