This app allows citizens to find information about one or more police forces in the UK, and enables them to easily identify and contact the relevant individual or department within any police force. By empowering citizens in this way, we can improve the accountability of the police forces, for the general benefit of society.
The target audience is citizens who wish to contact one or more police forces, but more particularly journalists, researchers, pressure groups and other activists.
For example, say a journalist wants to know how many individuals have died in police custody over the past year, then he or she would be able to use the app to obtain all the “Freedom of Information” email addresses for the police forces, and to save the list. Most police forces do list the “FOI” email address on their sites, but it can be often difficult to find because the addresses are in obscure places. The app simplifies this process.
A second example would be a journalist who wanted to contact the Police Commissioners for all the forces. (These are elected representatives who define the priorities for a force; they are designed to be a “democratic link” between citizens and the police.) To obtain this information, he or she would have to visit more than 50 websites, but by using the search facility on the app, this information would be immediately available. There are many other examples similar to this.
The main feature of the app is that it consolidates and standardises information that is available but is widely dispersed, difficult to find, and in diverse formats. Using the app, a citizen can quickly obtain the contact details of individual officers, including their telephone numbers and emails. Some police forces make it easy for a citizen to contact them, but many do not. By consolidating and standardising the data, we ensure that the high standards achieved by some forces are applied to all.
The app contains all the standard functionality that would be expected: tapping telephone numbers to call, emails to email, addresses and postcodes show maps, and details can be added to the user contacts.