DIY Policing

Berlin, Germany

10th January 2017

Social media empowers citizens to perform activities that fall within the range of police work and the work of other organisations dealing with public security. As modern Sherlock Holmes citizens assist the police and go beyond. They investigate crimes, identify suspects, form vigilante groups, hunt paedo- criminals and report on crimes.

The event discussed both the opportunities and challenges of DIY Policing and its relevance for public security today and in future. Participants including representatives of law enforcement agencies, the public, security planners and researchers throughout Europe gathered to exchange experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of DIY Policing.

In identifying future solutions many participants recognized the power of social networks and crowdsourcing for improving intelligence and investigations. Others saw opportunities for “policing the police”: holding the police accountable and thereby eventually improve their legitimacy and quality of services.  All participants were convinced that online DIY Policing will change the future of policing.

“Kodak was destroyed by Instagram. If the police want to survive DIY Policing they need to transform instead of asking the public to change.”Workshop participant

Download the summary of the workshop including a detailed overview of the background to DIY Policing and social media together with examples of its use in practice and recommendations for future practice.

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