Facebook for your local community

Whilst it is a great idea to set up a Facebook Group or Page for your Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. There are a few things you should remember if you want to use the Neighbourhood Watch Logo on your Facebook Group or Page.

GROUPS

If you set up a Facebook Group, its important to pick the right Group to use for your requirements.  An Open or Closed Group for example.  This depends on how much information you want to be visible to the Public.  Read through the Facebook information on what each of the Groups is before making your choice.
A closed group gives you more control over who can be a member of your group, if you are not going to have lots of time to moderate your group you might prefer to choose a closed group and only admit responsible members of your community.

PAGES

If you set up a Facebook Page, remember that everything that you post can be seen by everyone not just those on Facebook.  Although you can control what people can do on your Page, you will need to have at least two people to monitor the Page.  Read the Facebook information on what a Page is and how it works.

JUST A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF

If you feel you cannot adhere to the requests below we would ask that you DO NOT use the Neighbourhood Watch logo on your Facebook page/group.

Wether you choose a group or a page consider the following. Not all of these items apply to a Facebook group

  1. Protect your identity, whilst you can post to your page and reply to comments on your page using the identity of your page. Meaning others will see post and comments as being published by “your-local-page” and not from your Facebook account.
    Make sure you do not publicise who is managing your page because this might make them a target for criminal retribution if you succeed in disrupting criminal activity in your community.

  2. Check the security settings, Go through all of the many settings on your new Facebook page, and set each one to ensure that you limit access to your page and your identity.

  3. Language filter, it is very important to set up the Language Filter, adding in as many swear words etc., as you can, so that people can not use them in any comments they make.

  4. No names, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT post peoples names, telephone numbers, emails, or full vehicle license plates.
    Example: YZ 99 ABC post ?? 99 ABC with a vehicle description

  5. Photos and videos, take care when posting photos and videos of people or vehicles, be sure to describe clearly and concisely why they might be of interest. Do not make any unfounded accusations.
    Images published on social media may be inadmissible in a court case.

  6. Rewards, DO NOT offer rewards over social media, as this can bring with it many problems.

  7. Share vs Post, Whilst we recommend sharing posts from any of the Official West Mercia Neighbourhood Watch pages, as they are moderated by a team of volunteers, we suggest you copy and re-post content from other sources.
    If you share a post from another Facebook page you have no control over the content, the content might be appropriate at the time of sharing, but the author might choose to change it after it has been shared. Always check the content before you post.

  8. Limit who can post, it is a good idea to limit who can post to your page, whilst this adds to the effort you need to invest in managing your page, remember you are responsible for the content and you will be accountable for what is posted.

  9. No adverts, no politics, avoid allowing your page to be used for self advertising, or political commentary, publish a posting policy that sets out what you will allow and what you will not. Do not restrict free speech and opinions that you do not agree with, but do not allow on-line anti-social behaviour.

  10. Tell the police not Facebook, it is important to encourage your community to report everything to the Police, if they feel it is important enough to share on your Neighbourhood Watch page, it is important enough to report to the Police.
    Ask them for their incident or crime number before posting to your page.

  11. Exercise caution, it is important to remember that a suspicious van to someone might just be a law abiding tradesman going about their business. Making false accusations in a post on social media might damage someones livelihood, be confident they are up to no good before you post or leave comments on your page.

POSTING CMS MESSAGES

If you are going to share CMS messages from the Police to your Facebook Page, be sure to check the information that has been sent before you post, as often errors do occur and need to be amended.

TWEETS AND POLICE FACEBOOK PAGE INFORMATION

If you are going to share information from Twitter or a Police Facebook page, think about its content and if its worth making a post.

PRODUCT ADVICE

It is best not to recommend any products or companies.  You can suggest a device is a good idea but people should check for the best prices etc., themselves.  You do not want people coming back to you saying it did not work, or they could have bought it cheaper.

Remember Neighbourhood Watch Pages, are for Safety, Crime and Crime Prevention information for your area.