A new survey has identified that most people in the UK believe improved communications between themselves and the police via social media could have a potentially significant impact on the fight against crime.

The survey, carried out by the Accenture consultancy, found that 75% of UK respondents believed greater police involvement in social media and other digital communications could be instrumental in helping improve contact between the police and the public, leading to more information being exchanged on crime-related matters,

Commenting on this figure, the head of Accenture’s Global Defence & Public Safety Business, Ger Daly, said:

“The findings of this survey show a strong desire by UK citizens to change the way they interact with police and to support their local police to deliver new crime-fighting techniques. Citizens want to exchange information with police through their method of choice, which increasingly is a digital and mobile channel and they are looking for ways to engage with police while reserving the option of anonymity.”

Although the survey revealed a continued preference among almost 75% of those questioned for using the phone or talking face-to-face when providing information on crime incidents, Accenture’s Tim Godwin – himself a former deputy commissioner with the Metropolitan Police – said:

“[The survey] demonstrates the importance of police continuing to adopt new tools to foster two-way communication with citizens.”

Godwin said he believed that the greater number of communication channels open to the public for reaching the police, the more likely the latter were to receive intelligence they needed to help beat crime.