Thursday, 4 October 2012

Thank You Coventry

Friday 5th October 2012 is my last working day in Coventry. It would be remiss of me not to reflect on the last 2 ½ years as the local policing Chief Inspector in Coventry. 

Two and a half years ago there was no Twitter - then I joined the revolution to allow the local community to ask questions of me, as a public servant I'm accountable to the communities I serve. Twitter is a great way for the public to have access to senior police officers. 

I had a few followers to begin with and then the disorder of August 2011 sent my followers through the roof. Whilst there was much criticism of how social media was used across the country “my” Coventry “tweeters” used it in such a positive way. It allowed me to respond to all the various questions in real time & dispel all the myths & rumours, I even had a tweet about some people carrying petrol bombs & the offenders were later found guilty & imprisoned for several years. 

As I've gone about my daily police business in Coventry people come up to me who I don’t know, but they know me via Twitter & that’s really good to know that local people feel they know me. This prompted me to set up the group list #imfromcov which has over 100 people on it. 

My followers have been my “eyes & ears” flagging their issues or concerns to me – thanks to each and every one of you for allowing me to respond. The use of live video via social media has been an interesting journey. It only ever has one aim & that’s to give you the public access to what in effect is “your service” helping you understand how we deliver policing in Coventry but in a much more interactive way. 

I start my new role on Monday 8th October & I will have responsibility for Force Traffic, Policing at Birmingham airport, The Safer Travel Team, Camera Enforcement & vehicle recovery. I’m looking forward to showing you how my new teams play their part in making the West Midlands an even safer place to live & work. 

Social Media will never replace face to face contact with the public but it gives you the public easier access to the police, allows me to be held accountable to the public I serve and you to influence our day to day policing.

Chief Inspector Tim Metcalfe will be taking over from me, he's not on Twitter yet, but you are in good hands with @covpolcommander and @suptronwinch and of course @coventry_police.

Thank you to all my followers, I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far & a new chapter starts next week.

Kerry Blakeman
Chief Inspector
Coventry Local Policing Unit

Coventry Central Police Station, Little Park Street, Coventry CV1 2JX