International models and ideas for public communication of the police

Publication date 9.3.2023 9.55
News item

The police look for ways to reach citizens through communication, not only in Finland but in other countries as well. Structural and cultural factors of the police administration have a crucial impact on how the police develops interaction in various countries.

In the Netherlands, police officers play online games with young people and discuss issues relevant to the young people at the same time. The police in Iceland have gained international recognition for harnessing social media for official use. Police Scotland discuss internal security themes together with various communities.

A recent report by the Police University College reviews international models of public communication of the police. The report includes a set of examples on how the police in the Netherlands, Iceland and Scotland share information of internal security phenomena and support discussion and interaction with citizens.

“In the countries compared, the police activate and involve various actors in society in diverse ways to make the communication effective. The police cooperate with businesses, social media influencers and organizations, for example,” says Project Manager Pirjo Jukarainen.

Innovative communication by Netherlands Police

Innovative and unconventional communication methods used by Netherlands Police were one of the highlights of the international study of police communication models. For example, the police have produced real-time discussions in cooperation with social media influencers. The communication is organized using a newsroom model that emphasizes strategic planning and an active approach to social debate.

“Many interesting operating models in police communication were found in the countries we compared. The conclusion of this study is a proposal for new methods for the police also in Finland, to utilize the internal resources of administration, to develop innovative ways of communication and use the potential of social media. We also present the reasons why this would be useful,” says Researcher Iina Sahramäki.

“We summarized the development proposals for communication, presented in the report, in an electronic book of ideas, available for viewing on the Police University College website.”

The report "Informoi – Aktivoi – Keskustele. Esimerkkejä ja ideoita poliisin yhteiskunnalliseen viestintään " ("Inform – Activate – Discuss. Examples and ideas for public communication of the police”) is part of the VIESTI research project (International models for public communication of the police and their utilization in Finland). The project was carried out by the Police University College with funding by the National Police Board and Ministry of the Interior in 2022.