Over the past decade, information and communication technologies have changed the way we communicate over the past decade. Social media may play an important role in shaping police-community relations. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, may be used by the police to:
Social media gives citizens an easier and more direct way to access the police, not only in case of emergency, but also for the purpose of sharing their opinions, asking for advice or accessing information. Social media also makes the police more visible and may serve as a new source of knowledge about citizens’ needs and opinions as well as a new channel of communication. Through increased insight in police work, social media may also positively influence citizens’ image of the police, constituting a communication tool that brings the police and the community closer together, potentially enhancing citizens’ trust in – and accountability of – the police.