alerts provided an effective and relevant alerting system that doesn’t just target stationary addresses where recipients may or may not be present. With the in- troduction of geo-fencing, community engagement has naturally increased as this has provided relatable information based on users interests. More significantly, the App had allowed Essex Police to benefit from free mes- saging, diverting messaging costs from traditional channels such as SMS and voice calls. Collaboration with UMS Essex Police and UMS had worked very closely together to produce a bespoke system adhering to the requirements. Our consistent project meetings pro- duced many new ideas that were formed to create the most effective tool in com- munity messaging. During App development, Essex Police contributed greatly on both the design and functionality of the App, including highlighting many potential uses for tack- ling crime and day-to-day operating po- licing that have been implemented be- cause of our interactions. Due to time commitments and minimal
resources, Essex Police were unable to host support for both internal and external enquiries for their system. Despite not having previously agreed on any conditions regarding external support, a local number was set up by UMS to which has been published on all Essex Police sources to handle support calls. UMS has been answering phone enquiries since and will continue to pro- vide assistance even after Essex’s inter- nal support team is established as their backup level of expertise. UMS provided a high level of support and commitment and went beyond the contract to support their client at no additional cost. Our devotion was also apparent when on-site training was provided in addi- tion during the weekends, to accom- modate for the availability of neighbour- hood watch members’ schedules. UMS’ dedicated support staff travelled to their preferred locations and presented dem- onstrations at again, no extra cost and with provisions outside of the contract. Overall, the community messaging system was a success and our favour- able experience with Essex Police has provided a benchmark to all UK po- lice forces with more forces looking to
advocate our robust systems. As the first organisation in the UK to adopt a UMS system, this has positively unlocked opportunities throughout the UK.
“We’re delighted that we now have a brand new messaging system, and look forward to improving our ability to help Essex Police reduce the level of crime across our county.”
Alan Johnson, Chair of the Essex County Neighbourhood Watch Association
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