Beaudesert Police to contact residents via SMS

LEGIT: From today Queensland Police will be communicating via SMS.
LEGIT: From today Queensland Police will be communicating via SMS.

SCENIC Rim residents who may receive a text message from a local police officer can now trust that it is probably a legitimate SMS.

Queensland Police Service today announced its intention to contact members of the public by SMS when investigating reported occurrences across the state.

The tool, which is available to officers from today, has been successfully trialled in Brisbane South, Logan and Gladstone earlier in the year.

Officer-in-charge at Beaudesert Police Station, senior sergeant Leon Marshall said local officers would use SMS to contact people.

"The SMS system is another tool to support communication between police and the community," he said.

"Text messages will supplement traditional conversation and in-person contact, which will continue."

A QPS statement said police were previously only able to contact people by telephone or by attending the location where the person was.

"Police believe this will improve two way communication as many people don't answer phone calls marked 'private' or 'no caller-ID'," the statement said.

"Now officers are able to send an SMS message to a person from their QPS email account. The message recipient will be able to reply directly to the officer by sending an SMS message back, for example by providing the requested details or making an appointment to meet."

Senior Sergeant Andrew Lake said the trial would make it easier for the public and the QPS to engage and resolve investigations faster. It would also improve the ability of victims to be advised of the status of their matter.

He said to reduce the risk of scams, messages would include information to identify it as coming from the QPS, including the crime report number and SMS messages would not include attachments or hyperlinks.

"If you are involved in an incident which would have been reported to the Queensland Police Service (including crime traffic crashes and DV matters), you may receive an SMS message from an investigator," Snr Sgt Lake said.

"If people are uncertain of the authenticity of the message, contact Policelink on 131 444."

QPS said the email-to-SMS trial evaluation showed 88 per cent of the community supported the QPS using SMS to contact them and 78 per cent of officers reported that SMS was very effective for contacting the community.

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