The Sussex police, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to embark on a 24-hour live online broadcast of its activities - going out live on a number of channels on the force's website.
Using mobile phones, laptops, and the video streaming application Bambuser, the general public will be able to glimpse at what it is to be a police officer. You will also be treated to regular updates and comments from the chief constable, whilst a "live, intimate, bird’s eye view of activities from a series of car and foot patrols is played out.
The event will be called Sussex Police People: Live, saying that "this digital route is part of an ongoing commitment to provide an intimate view of policing through the eyes of those doing the job - as well as to promote new ways for people to keep in touch with them."
Chief constable Martin Richards said: "The technical side is interesting, but what’s most important is how this will help us speak and listen to local people in the best ways possible. We’re making innovative use of technology, but not at the expense of other effective methods.
And that's nice to know, as this kind of marketing exercise is bound to be carefully orchestrated, with the police able to cut, mute and stop the live stream at will.
And what the live 24-hour police broadcast turns out to be really depends on what kind of message it wants to convey to tax payers; perhaps the organisation want to turnaround the purveying image of the police going to work in order to arrest as many people as it can in order to meet government quoters.
Interestingly the Bambuser executive chairman Hans Eriksson also had something to say: "You’ve got to take your hat off and acknowledge the forward thinking nature of Sussex Police. In today’s digital age, it’s important that organisations utilize technology like Bambuser to effectively and cheaply showcase what they’re doing - and how taxpayers’ money is being used."
This may well be the case, but perhaps, for many people, it's more important to see a difference in the way police carry out duties in their streets and neighbourhoods - resulting in a safer and happier environment - rather than what could be deemed a reality-TV censored equivalent.
The public will also be able to join in the digital experiment via web chats, interactive walkabouts enabling them to direct cameras as well as taking part in a Twitter conversation about the initiative (hashtag #SPPlive).
In all fairness it does appear that the Sussex force is attempting to engage with the public, and although this may not be the best way to do it, any open dialogue could be seen as a positive step. It's just a shame that there has already been so much sensationalist programming played out around police activity, which sullies any serious attempt to show the public what the police are really all about.
In what’s believed to be a world first, Sussex Police will begin non-stop, live video streaming of its activities for 24 hours beginning at 6am Friday 28 October
What do you think about the 24-hour broadcast? Let us know in the comments...