POLICE in West Swindon have signed up half of their target to the new community messaging system which went live this week as the scheme was officially launched by Chief Constable Pat Geenty.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging system allows neighbourhood police to send instant alerts via email or text to local areas, and cost £11,000 to set up from the office of the Police And Crime Commissioner.

PC Steve Yeates, the beat manager for Toothill and Freshbrook, said the scheme would work better as more people sign up.

“I’m hoping for at least 200 people to sign up in the sector and we are halfway there,” he said.

“The more people who sign up the more effective it will be.

“It is going to increase the number of people we are able to keep updated, and they can reply to any messages we send if they have relevant information.”

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty said: “One of the big complaints we get from the public is that we do not keep them updated or give them feedback after they contact us.

“This system will help us do both, along with letting them know what’s happening in their area.

“We have been trying to do something like this for years and the NPT have tried to update the neighbourhood watch groups.

“This system is simple and effective.

To join Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging or to find out more visit www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk.

It will not be monitored 24 hours a day so people should call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.