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The Skype’s the limit

The Skype’s the limit

🕔05.Aug 2013

West Midlands PCC Bob Jones is to hold his first ever “Skype surgery” this Friday as part of his efforts to further embrace social media and digital platforms.

Speaking about the surgery, Bob Jones said, “I’m a firm believer in being as open, transparent and accessible as possible […] new technologies like Twitter, webchats and Skype enable more people to be involved. “

Bob Jones has been a surprising advocate of social media. Last Thursday Jones conducted a web-chat on the West Midlands PCC website.

Jones fielded questions on a diverse array of topics from the social media campaign ‘Pup Idol’  run by Jones to highlight the use of dogs in policing  to more serious questions regarding the recent EDL march and the English’s “right to protest” without fear from “violent, hate-filled, far-Left/Islamic counter protests against the democratic English Defence League.”

Jones claims to be riding on the “coat tails” of the West Midlands Police successes with social media. Solihull Police twitter feed was awarded the ‘GoldenTwit’ for customer service, with tweets regularly going viral and gaining national coverage, such as:

“Caught a shoplifter stealing from Thorntons, won’t tell you where he hid the chocs – but them Soft Caramels aren’t going back on the shelves.”

The office West Midlands PCC account similarly seems comfortable with negotiating the potential pitfalls of the online platforms as part of his wider strategy to create greater accessibility.

Jones still maintains that social media will never fully supplant conventional means of networking. He said: “Social networking and electronic communications will never replace meeting people in person, which is why I hold face-to-face surgeries across the West Midlands, summits that the public can attend, and invite questions from the public at Strategic Policing and Crime Board meetings.”

West Midlands PCC account is @WestMidsPCC

Cover image (Bob Jones): telegraph.co.uk

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