Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Festus Akinbusoye has launched the county’s first “public access terminals” that aim to improve residents’ accessibility to policing and statutory services.
Situated in key locations, the first terminal was installed in Leighton Buzzard Library, Lake Street, earlier this month, to be followed by two terminals in Dunstable Library and Flitwick later this month.
First of its kind, the large touchscreen device has been designed to provide members of the public online access to non-emergency policing services, including reporting an incident, submitting intelligence, victim care support and submitting feedback to the force.
The terminals will also feature information on local events and services provided by partners, such as local authorities, the Fire Service and other agencies.
Bedfordshire remains an area of high internet poverty. The devices aim to help bridge the gap for residents that face challenges seeking support via the internet, while providing a safe space to do so.
Festus Akinbusoye said: “I’m excited to be launching our new public access terminals as the office continues to explore more progressive ways to support our communities.
“It was incredibly important to me when producing my Police and Crime Plan that it directly addressed the challenges of local residents, and I’m pleased to be delivering on these promises in a practical and visible manner.”
He added: “As Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire it is imperative that I remain cognisant of inequalities and concerns that negatively affect our county. My hope is that these terminals serve as a continued effort to break these barriers down.”
Policing and Contact Project Manager for the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Eaton, said: “This is a great addition to support communities in accessing crucial services, and I’m confident this will further empower our residents that may not have easy access to the help and advice they need.
“As always, in the case of an emergency we would urge the community to call 999, however we are well aware that there are incidents that occur that perhaps do no need an immediate police presence. By encouraging the public to report these incidents as intelligence, it allows us to build a clearer picture of the adversities experienced by residents in our community, which we will endeavour to challenge and combat.”
The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner are also progressing plans to develop and launch a mobile phone application for both IOS and Android users later this year that will provide a similar provision.
(Source and Image: Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office)