Colne PACT meetings head into cyberspace

PILOT SCHEME: The Colne and West Craven Facebook page, pictured, is being used to host online PACT meetings (S)
PILOT SCHEME: The Colne and West Craven Facebook page, pictured, is being used to host online PACT meetings (S)

Police have launched an exciting pilot scheme in Colne to allow them to host virtual meetings with residents.

The initiative, which is being trialed in the Horsfield, Vivary Bridge and Waterside wards, began on Wednesday.

At present monthly Police and Communities Together meetings attract around 30 people, and it is hoped that by hosting sessions online, this number will rise to around 1,000. Normal PACTs will still go ahead.

The virtual meetings will take the form of a question and answer session on the Colne and West Craven Facebook page, which currently has more than 3,000 followers. Other forces across the county have successfully adopted the online PACT concept.

In an email sent to councillors, Sgt Kim De Curtis said: “Some PACT meetings have a handful of people attending each month – normally the same people.

“I’m sure you will agree those handful of people only represent a very small percentage of that ward area so we only obtain their thoughts and issues and we should strive to engage with as many people as possible.

“The rationale behind an online PACT is that we will have a great deal more people logging on to discuss PACT/issues/things that matter to them for their area and community than the traditional PACT ever could – therefore we would obtain a better ‘feel’ of the community.

“We obviously live in age where everyone is busy and have busy lives, but I’m confident that they will log on for the online PACT.

“I am sure you will agree this is a new way of engaging with a wider audience and should deliver more positives than negatives.”

Wednesday’s 7pm to 8-30pm meeting with the neighbourhood policing team was overseen and facilitated by Sgt De Curtis. She said the meeting needed to be kept clean and professional, and anything inappropriate would be deleted.