The fifth INSPEC2T test case took place in the city of Preston, Lancashire, which is situated in the North West of England and has a diverse population of 140,000. The city has a busy night time economy and retail sector and is home to the University of Central Lancashire with over 33,000 students, 30,000 of whom live in the city.
The pilot was conducted using role actors and scripted scenarios based around the city centre campus where students live, study and socialise.
The target group was young people who attend the university and frequent the city’s bars, cafes and restaurants. It also involved local businesses, security staff, and Preston city council liaising with the Police, reporting incidents, sharing information, alerts and key messages.
The pilot focused on issues such as personal safety, particularly safety in licensed premises, identifying vulnerability and crime prevention. The test cases were supported by partner agencies such as the UCLAN Students Union, the UCLAN Policing Society, Preston City Council and the Preston Business Improvement District (BID),
Goals and Objectives
In Preston, the INSPEC2T platform was used to promote community. Lancashire Constabulary is seeking to use the latest technology and policing practices to enhance their engagement methodology and processes. Officers in Preston are actively using both social media and their local messaging service Stay In The Know to engage with their communities and develop a shared and continued responsibility and a common sense of purpose. 644,000 people are currently following Lancashire Constabulary on social media. INSPEC2T will compliment this ongoing engagement, providing an additional platform on which to engage with a vast number of students in one go. In particular INSPEC2T will enhance our ability to publish news and information, inform the student population about what we are doing and why we are doing it, appeal for help in solving crime and to find missing people, send out warnings and information to assist people in protecting themselves when the need arises, encourage conversation, feedback and challenge where appropriate and arrange meetings with local officers.
• To improve engagement between the police, agencies and students, including internatonal students
• To improve understanding of issues
• To promote safety & wellbeing
• To engage in early intervention in relation to re-emerging policing / safety issues
• To increase sharing of information and intelligence
Regular meeting were held with key stakeholders from the University of Central Lancashire, Preston City Council, the Preston Neighbourhood Policing Team, Media and engagement and ICT in the 6 months leading to the pilot.
Baseline assessment interviews were conducted with Lancashire constabulary staff and partner agencies on 5th and 6th June and a Pre assessment workshop was held at Preston Police Station on 8th August.
From 18th September 2017 The University of Central Lancashire Welcome Week/Freshers Fortnight ran for two weeks. During this time the Preston Community Policing Team promoted INSPEC2T and the Resource Force game. Students were also invited to sign up to ‘In the Know’ in order that this could be used to promote INSPEC2T.
The two week awareness raising and promotion campaign was supported by Student representatives and the Students Union , as well as the Lancashire Constabulary Twitter and Facebook accounts which have over644,000 followers. UCLAN students were also engaged via the Policing Degree course.
Freshers were updated regarding INSPEC2T utilising Facebook, Twitter, Weichat and the Lancashire Constabulary’s local messaging service ‘In The Know’. Students were also surveyed in order to identify issues and concerns relating to them and also their preferred engagement channels. They also received crime prevention information in relation to key issues during the themed weeks which will include:
- Personal safety / Safety in licenced premises
- Responsible drinking
- Alcohol related violence
- Sexual offences
- Security of property
- Student Support Services/ mental health services
The pilot ran over a three day period and was based on scenarios acted out in various locations in and around the university campus. Approximately 50 students were involved in the pilot together with representatives from the Preston City council and the University’s security department. The scenarios were based around common issues faced by students such as burglary, drug abuse, theft and violent crime. A scenario regarding a missing student was also included in order to highlight mental health and vulnerability issues. The aim of the test case was to improve engagement between the police, agencies and students, including international students. scenarios based around Preston City Centre. University security staff and the City Council also joined the pilot. Both were interested in the future potential use of the system.
For further information on the Preston test case, please consult the press release available here.