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PDS produces social media tech framework for police


Mark Say Managing Editor


The Police Digital Service (PDS) has launched a procurement framework for social media management and engagement technology for policing, blue light services and local authorities.

Police officer in yellow jacket seen from behind

It has named Orlo (SocialSignIn) and Softcat, in partnership with Salesforce, as the suppliers, and said the framework - to run for two years with options for two one-year extensions - will help police forces control all their corporate social media channels in one place in a safe, secure and auditable way.

It should also help them to meet nationally agreed standards for social media management aligned with the National Policing Digital Strategy, and support the work of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) lead for social media and digital engagement, Surrey Police Chief Constable (CC) Gavin Stephens, in developing a target operation model (TOM) for the integrated use of social media across forces.

Stephens said: “To have a procurement framework available for all of UK policing is a huge achievement and the result of years of hard work across the portfolio and through the valued support of policing’s communications teams.

“More so now than ever we need to efficiently and effectively engage online which this framework allows us to do. Importantly, it has been built by our needs and saves forces time and money.

“The new approach to online services and social media has been implemented by a number of forces already. I hope that having this new opportunity makes it an even more attractive offer for those considering it as their next step.”


The PDS said the framework will make it possible to make direct awards or run mini competitions for relevant services, provide access to basic data insights on external users, publish all scheduled content in managing a critical incident, and help forces in listening and responding to communities.

PDS CEO Ian Bell said: “I am delighted that the Police Digital Service can now offer this framework, which, through national coordination, provides for a menu of options to suit local needs from content management through to the ability to facilitate social media as a 24/7 digital contact channel, if desired.

“Unlike many other organisations, policing has specific requirements to enable the reporting and recording of crimes and incidents made via social media in the same manner, and to the same standard, as we do with 999 or 101 services. The explosion of social media, and the plethora of information now available to the police, provides both challenge and huge opportunity – this information is incredibly powerful if managed well.

“The successful suppliers on the framework were able to demonstrate an effective approach to supporting this, ensuring the public have choice on which channels to use to interact with their local force.”

Features of the National Policing Digital Strategy include the provision of more choice in how the public engages with the police using different channels, media and devices; and making it easier to source and deploy technologies for strengthening relationships with the public.

Image from iStock, darrensp

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