The Northamptonshire Police community messaging service, which provides a simple and convenient way for local people to receive news and updates about crime and policing in their area, has been relaunched this week under a new name, Northamptonshire Talking.

Previously known as Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert, the new-look Northamptonshire Talking offers local residents and businesses the opportunity to get connected with what’s happening in their local area, stay up to date about crime and policing issues, and get involved in shaping local policing priorities.

Local Policing Superintendent Rachael Handford is keen to encourage new users to take up the service. She said: “Anyone can sign up to Northamptonshire Talking and we currently have more than 33,000 members, which is increasing all the time.

“When you join, you’ll receive email updates about crime and suspicious activity where you live or work, as well as crime prevention advice and updates from your local neighbourhood policing team about local initiatives and events. We also invite people to take part in our regular survey that helps us find out about local concerns and priorities.

“But crucially, it isn’t just about sending out information – we want people to be able to get in touch directly with their local officers, and one of the key features of Northamptonshire Talking is that it enables people to do this.

“Each message we send has a reply option, which provides a simple way for people to contact their neighbourhood officer to give feedback, ask a question or share any information they may have about crime or anti-social behaviour. There’s also the option to contact local officers directly by visiting the relevant team’s Northamptonshire Talking web page.

“Northamptonshire Talking is an important communication tool for our neighbourhood officers and alongside traditional face-to-face engagement and our social media presence, it’s helping us keep in touch with our communities.

“It provides local people with a direct line to their neighbourhood policing team, helping them to stay informed about what’s happening in the area where they live or work.

“We’ll be working hard to sign even more people in the coming months.”

As well as well as local crime information, people can also sign up to receive messages from the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, as well as other trusted partners Neighbourhood Watch and Action Fraud.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “Northamptonshire Talking gives us another tool to help build better relationships and greater trust, with people in this county.  And it’s a two-way channel, which police will be using to find out more about what’s happening in their community and the issues that residents are more concerned about.

“I know people want to see more visible neighbourhood policing and Northamptonshire Talking will help us all create better engagement with local people.”