Gwent Police launches bilingual smartphone and tablet app

Gwent Police has launched a bilingual smartphone and tablet ‘app’ that provides residents and visitors with useful information such as the names and contact details of all local neighbourhood officers in each of the 136 wards, details about current priorities in each area, news and appeals and details of forthcoming PACT meetings or surgeries.

Jan 31, 2013
By Paul Jacques

Gwent Police has launched a bilingual smartphone and tablet ‘app’ that provides residents and visitors with useful information such as the names and contact details of all local neighbourhood officers in each of the 136 wards, details about current priorities in each area, news and appeals and details of forthcoming PACT meetings or surgeries.

The new app has been developed by the Gwent Police digital communications team which is part of the corporate communications department. It is free to download from the Apple app store and is one of the first police apps in the UK to have been developed in-house and without the services of an external company.

It currently works only on iPhones and iPads, but there are plans to roll out versions for other devices in the very near future.

Gwent police and crime commissioner (PCC) Ian Johnston commented: “This is an exciting new initiative for Gwent Police and will help to keep smartphone and tablet users in touch with local issues and give them the ability to contact their local officers. In addition, the app provides an invaluable channel for officers to provide information and advice during major incidents or events.

“The app won’t replace other forms of communication such as face-to-face briefings, newsletters, local surgeries and social media, but will in fact complement these existing channels. The opportunities that this app provides will further enhance the force’s ability to interact with the community and it also allows an immediacy that can only be of benefit to everyone using it.

“During my election campaign I made it clear that communication between Gwent Police and the public must be a two-way process and that this communication must be improved.

“This app is a step in the right direction and I hope that local residents with tablets and smartphones will download it and give it a try.”

Stuart John, head of Gwent Police corporate communications added: “This is not the first police app but it’s one of the first to be developed in-house without the need to employ the services of an external company.

“It’s also the first UK police app which is ‘universal’ and has a native version for both tablet and smartphone.

“While the development and creation of the bilingual app has been led by the highly-skilled digital communications team, this has been a real team effort with other members of the communications department also contributing.

“In addition, we’ve had input from members of the public regarding the content and testing. Feedback from the public will continue to be very important as we update and improve it over the coming years.”

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