Facebook live Q&A sessions through Covid-19 pandemic praised by Northamptonshire public
Main article content
First police force to hold regular sessions hosted by the Chief Constable
242,600 unique views, 4031 comments, 2647 likes
A combined seven hours of officers answering your questions
“I do not ever want to hide from the public. Some of the questions have been hard but that’s good as our residents deserve those answers.” – Chief Constable Nick Adderley
Live question and answer sessions headed up by Chief Constable Nick Adderley during the Covid-19 pandemic have been praised by the public in Northamptonshire for their innovative and meaningful engagement with communities.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Northamptonshire Police knew that such a drastic change to people’s lives would cause anxiety, worry and fear, and that it was important to regularly update the public and make it clear we were all on the same side.
Therefore, at the very beginning of the lockdown, an idea was devised by Corporate Communications which saw Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Superintendents Sarah Johnson and Elliot Foskett taking questions every Thursday at 4.30pm live on Facebook.
Northamptonshire was the only police force to engage with their residents in this way, with the trio grilled at the same time every week for over three months.
Hundreds of questions were posed, ranging from what people could and couldn’t do to how we were protecting our police officers from the virus on the frontline.
The sessions were so well-received that people who didn’t even live in the county began to tune in every week, praising the Force for its willingness to take questions live and the authenticity of the sessions.
“This is what it means to use social media to engage and connect with communities in our modern society. Constantly impressed by the Chief Constable and his Force’s use of digital media,” said one member of the public.
“The current engagement by the Chief Constable and the communications team at Northants Police is utterly top drawer,” said another.
A special session for children was also held with special appearances from two of the Force’s police dogs. Questions ranged from youngsters worried about the Covid-19 lockdown to one four-year-old asking why we don’t have police crocodiles. Chief Constable Nick Adderley was also able to clear up whether the Force has police cats as well as police dogs for one nine-year-old who posed the question.
“Well I can’t give too much away,” he said. “But all I will say is that when you see a cat on your estate, you see it walking slowly and inquisitively, ask yourself – is that one of us?”
In total, eleven sessions have been held so far with 242,600 unique views, 4031 comments, 2647 likes and a combined seven hours of officers answering your questions.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “Our live Facebook Q&As have proven popular with the local community because they’re unscripted - people can pose questions live, we don’t know what questions are coming, and we think that brings a level of authenticity to the process which the public in Northamptonshire have appreciated.
“We want to be accessible, approachable and willing to give the public the interaction they deserve and these sessions have been a great way for us to do that.
“We don’t want to be constantly talking at people. We want that interaction and engagement and I made it very clear from the beginning that the difficult questions were to be read out during the sessions as well as the more easy ones.
“This wasn’t simply a PR exercise – I do not ever want to hide from the public. Some of the questions have been hard but that’s good as our residents deserve those answers.
“These sessions have been so successful and so smartly put together that other forces across the country have contacted us for advice on best practice.
“I am lucky to have a creative and modern thinking Corporate Communications Team around me and I’m delighted at how well these sessions have been received.”