More than 2,000 users have installed an innovative policing app since it was launched at the end of September last year.
Cleveland Online Policing App – or COPA – has been installed from Google Play and Apple App stores a total of 2,060 times up to the end of December 2022.
COPA is one of the first apps of its kind. It gives Cleveland residents and visitors another channel to engage with Cleveland Police and their Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
The app was spearheaded by PCC Steve Turner. Middlesbrough-based digital agency Alt Labs developed the app in partnership with Cleveland Police.
Users can feed in community-wide concerns, provide feedback, access information and link to the police’s and other websites. During the app’s first quarter, people used features within the app 1,761 times.
That’s 1,761 times that a member of the public may have contacted the force control room for help if the app hadn’t been available.
Most issues reported through the app – 58.3 per cent – were about antisocial behaviour and vehicle nuisance. Drugs and suspicious behaviour were the second and third biggest categories for reports.
Any reports relating to policing go to the force. They are added to other data so officers can get a clearer picture of crime hotspots throughout Cleveland.
Cleveland Police data reveals that calls for service between October and December 2022 were 3% lower than the same period the previous year. Call abandonment for the same periods also dropped by 3.8%.
The app aims to reduce demand on the police and direct people to the correct organisation for non-policing matters. As a result, it aims to improve the service communities receive.
Testament to its success
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner said: “The early interest in COPA shows that there is an appetite for an app to connect with the police, the Office of the PCC and partner services.
“Its success is testament to the hard work put in by developers Alt Labs, our staff, partners and key stakeholders at the development stage to make sure that it was the right solution for Cleveland.
“We are continuing to take on board user feedback and to develop the app to make sure it remains relevant to residents’ needs.”
The OPCC continues to work with developers Alt Labs. That’s to make sure COPA improves and continues to meet the needs of all of Cleveland’s communities.
Future developments include integrating COPA with existing police systems. They also include using information from the app to help the force improve how it maps policing demand across Cleveland. Cleveland PCC released an updated version of the app this week.
For more information on COPA, go to: https://www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/how-can-we-help/copa-cleveland-online-policing-app/