Neighbourhood App Nextdoor Opens Platform to Police
Launched in the UK in 2016, Nextdoor is a social media platform that helps to build communities in a local area; a Neighbourhood Watch for the digital age. To join a neighbourhood in the app, users have to provide proof of their address, a system that previously prohibited public services such as the police and councils from using the Nextdoor app to communicate with local residents.
Nextdoor found that once communities began to use the social network, they would typically start to share crime and safety updates. "At that point, what happens is we hear from local police forces who actually want to get involved," Nick Lisher, UK country manager for Nextdoor, explained at the launch of Nextdoor's new public service platform.
After trialling the service with the Metropolitan Police Service for the past year, the update now allows local police, fire and council departments to send and receive messages within a neighbourhood, without having access to the full private community's news feed.
Nextdoor sees this new platform as one solution to the UK police staffing crisis. This year, police numbers in the UK are at their lowest since 1996 (Home Office, 2018). By communicating directly with neighbourhoods, police resources can be deployed more efficiently, reacting to patterns of reports and using residents' observations to help solve criminal cases.
In a recent blog, we discussed how technology can be used to help prevent crime and violence. See our Safeguarding Security report for more examples of how new technologies are addressing consumers' security concerns.