Moreton Region Crime Prevention Unit community engagement officer Senior-Constable Jo Arthur has grown the local myPolice Moreton Facebook page from scratch to 22,000 followers in just eight months.
Tasked with creating a page to get the right messages out to the people about safety and reporting and preventing crime to engage with the Moreton Bay Region community in 2022, she never imagined it would be such a success in such a short time.
myPolice Moreton launched at the end of March and overnight went from zero to 11,000 followers thanks to a local Facebook page focused on sharing official warnings and traffic incident reports that let its audience know Moreton police had their own page.
It’s one of a number of regional police Facebook pages launched this year, and Sen-Constable Arthur says it’s one of the best – second only to Cairns, which has 27,000 followers.
“It’s now one of the fastest-growing QPS regional pages,” she says.
She attributes its continued growth to a forensic focus on understanding what the audience wants.
“I am not a guru by any means, but I have learnt some lessons about what our audience likes.
“It’s been building that and making sure we get the right messages out to the people about reporting, crime prevention and safety.”
Backlash against posts about hooning in the early days taught Sen-Constable Arthur some valuable lessons about moderating and she says she’s also had to find a sweet spot for posts about crime.
“Showing our community the solved crime is important to ensure that they feel confident and safe in their community,” Sen-Constable Arthur says.
“Keeping them aware of crime and providing them with the tools to help them stay safe is a priority, but we also like to show how much work we do in the community and that we have a human side.
“Policing is not all about catching bad guys.
“We work hard in the community to build connections and to look after our most vulnerable - the page helps us show that,” she says.
Sen-Constable Arthur says the myPolice Moreton audience is also great at helping solve crimes.
“We have a CCTV feed on the blog where we put footage of fuel drive-offs, unlawful use of motor vehicles, burglaries and shop stealing and people can respond to that.
“We actually get quite a few names provided to us through that which enables us to investigate further and prefer charges.”
Sen-Constable Arthur says followers also like animal pictures, though hooning and speed camera or speed enforcement images draw the highest engagement – not all of it positive.
“We also get good engagement from road rule questions, which I share from TMR.”
About Senior-Constable Jo Arthur
Sen-Constable Arthur’s position came about after the then-district officer asked for expressions of interest to trial a media position for three months.
The district officer wanted to create a regional Facebook page dedicated to the Moreton district, but at that point the Queensland Police Service used a central model, run by its media liaison team.
“I had to work within our social media policy, so I would put stories through our police blog and then get Neighbourhood Watch groups and local media to share our stories and I used to share it through 50 or 60 community pages,” she explains.
“When Moreton Police went through our restructure in February 2020, in about March (Moreton Policing District Superintendent) John Hallam got me on board full time.
“There’s only a couple of us in the state that do it full time, but it’s growing because it’s become such a popular way to get the message out to the public.
“It’s about providing people with timely information that has been validated, crime prevention tips, results, information about what’s happening, events and current crime trends, scams and stolen vehicles.”
As well as running the myPolice Moreton blog and Facebook page, the former forensic officer spends her time connecting with the community at events and through visits to local organisations.
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