The only way relationships can work is if there are open lines of communication between the two parties involved.
Currently the relationship between the Botswana Police and the public they are paid to protect is extremely strained because there is nearly no communication. We as the public can only speak to the police if we are there in person or occasionally if they answer the phones. (This is sometimes an exception when you find one of their many kind officers who will give you their personal mobile number.) They do not have an email system.
In a time when in order to be a successful ‘brand’ you must have a constant, multi-platform presence in order to succeed – the Botswana Police do not even have their own website. They have a division on the gov.bw site but it offers little in the way of actual communication to the general public. No updates on what neighborhoods are the hardest hit at the moment or active tips on current crime trends or pictures of suspects.
There are weekly updates but only dealing with road fatalities and giving the case of stats that only show that crime is further escalating.
For the Botswana Police to be successful they must look at themselves as any other ‘brand’ would. They need to constantly communicate with their ‘customers’ and help those customers help the brand.
The police should have their own website, emails, phones that are answered anytime of the day or night. They also need a web presence. A Facebook page and Twitter and SMS blasts.
Imagine the power of actually using modern communication to help the catch criminals. If suspects were seen living the scene of a crime in a vehicle and description and tag number could immediately be blast out to mobiles and computers all over the city, making everyone a lookout – imagine the how many arrests the police could make…imagine how many criminals would be off the streets…imagine.
QUESTION FOR THE WEEK
Would you prepare to contribute P100 per annum if you knew that the effect would be to reduce crime in Gaborone?
SMS crime followed by your answer to 16565