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August 21, 2014

How Sussex Police is reducing crime with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi messaging device

Device sends messages about crime, missing people and other incidents.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Sussex Police are trialing a new messaging device that uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to send messages about crimes to mobile phones and tablets.

The idea is to keep people in the Adur and Worthing neighbourhood informed about the latest crimes, missing people and other incidents, and offer security advice.

Anyone within a 400 metre radius who has their Bluetooth signal on and their smartphone or tablet set to "discoverable" can receive messages from the police team.

The device also allows members of the public to join the "SussexPolice" open Wi-Fi connection and access local information through the internet browser on their device free of charge.

Chief Inspector Jo Banks, Adur and Worthing District Commander, said: "This innovative idea will allow my officers to communicate quickly with residents about local incidents , asking for their help and support in locating vulnerable missing people, identifying suspicious vehicles and witness appeals to crimes."

"The way that technology can be used to communicate is increasing on a daily basis and I am keen to look for as many different opportunities as I can to ensure that we are using it to the fullest extent to provide the public with important information about crime and community safety."

When users receive messages over Bluetooth, an electronic business card is sent and a contacts list entry is automatically added under Sussex Police Non Emergency Number, containing the 101 number.

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Banks added: "The messages are free to receive. We will never ask you to provide any personal information through this device, but to contact us through 101 on 999 in an emergency. If you are worried or concerned about receiving these messages, you can decline any invite that you receive."

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