Here's how Wiltshire Police used a secure, engaging employee to connect and reach everyone in their workforce, no matter where they were.
Wiltshire Police is the regional force responsible for policing the county of Wiltshire in the south west of England. The force covers a large, mainly rural geographic area of 1,346 square miles but also includes several towns, of which Swindon is the largest. The force headquarters is in Devizes, England. Wiltshire Police employs more than 2,000 people including approximately 960 officers, volunteers, and members of the special constabulary, who all play a vital role as part of the policing family within the county.
Wiltshire Police was struggling with a ‘clunky’ intranet solution that was used to provide updates and information. This intranet solution was not available on mobile devices which meant that colleagues had to log onto a laptop to access news and other important resources.
In 2015 the strategy for police deployment in Wiltshire was to equip officers with mobile technology which allowed them to be effectively car and/or community based. With most of the force dispersed and working on-the-go away from headquarters, communication and information sharing became a significant challenge. This challenge became even greater with the arrival of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
"Keeping officers and staff informed and up to date is vital. Mobile phones are now a backbone for communications and are an essential every day tool for us. We were keen to work with Thrive.App to introduce an app for internal communications. We knew it would be a good opportunity to provide a wealth of key information in one place that officers and staff could use to access information quickly when out and about, removing the need to return to the station.”
The ‘Siren’ employee app by Thrive.App was introduced into the police force in 2015 with the goal of providing important information and updates, in one, easy-to-use, secure channel that officers and staff could see at anytime, from anywhere, while they were out and about.
With this forward thinking and strategic approach, Wiltshire Police became one of the first police forces in the UK to deploy an employee app to modernise and enhance communications and streamline knowledge and information sharing across the force.
In 2015, Clare Mills, Head of Communications, said the app had enormous potential to become a core communications channel for the force.
Kier Pritchard, Assistant Chief Constable, added that the app offered the potential to be able to provide staff with all the access and information they need to work out in the community space without needing to be physically present at headquarters.
“The app is a useful and easy-to-use information portal that enables our community policing teams to see updated information automatically. We’re fully invested in and engaged with our communities and we’re putting our resources into the heart of our communities by being committed to provide our teams with the technology that enables them to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently."
In 2015, Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, said that the app offered the potential to become a highly effective operational communications tool, particularly for community policing teams. At the time, Wiltshire Police were looking at the opportunities presented by new technology and how these could be exploited to support their mobile police force.
The ‘Siren’ app was deployed to become a vital resource that community officers could access wherever they were.
Since its deployment Wiltshire Police have said that the ‘Siren’ app has been an absolutely vital tool to communicate ongoing news and changes to legislation, as well as giving advice and guidance to staff, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The ‘Siren’ employee app includes sections dedicated to latest news and updates, COVID-19 advice, well-being advice while working from home, operational briefings, reward and recognition, training and development, fundraising activities and more.
The app is not only providing real-time access to numerous useful resources for the police force; it also plays an important part in business resilience and continuity as the app is cloud-hosted and is unaffected if there should be issues with internal servers.
"The app is a ‘go to’, quick time resource for officers, giving access to latest news, community contacts, operational contacts, social media channels, Aide Memoirs and more. It's a one-stop shop for information."
“Wiltshire Police takes an innovative approach to internal communications, which is why we were keen to introduce an app as we knew how useful it could become as a communications tool. We’ve been using it for many years now and we’re always reviewing how Siren is received by employees and how it could continue to develop to enhance communication and employee engagement.”
If your organisation is similar to Wiltshire Police and you're looking for ways to improve business continuity, internal communications and employee engagement, talk with a member of our team today to learn more about how we're helping Wiltshire Police transform their internal communications strategy.
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