Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Use of Technology when Interacting with the Public

Matilda Woods made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Avon and Somerset Constabulary

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Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Avon and Somerset Constabulary,

I would like to request information for the following questions/queries:

What apps or chatbots does your force use to communicate with the public?

Can the app/chatbot be considered “smart” (obtaining natural language understanding, natural language generation and machine learning engines)?

If you do not make use of "smart" technology, what is your reasoning behind this decision?

Are these chatbots/apps used within third party applications or websites, such as Facebook?
Which service providers develop, deliver and/or maintain these apps/chatbots?

How much has been spent on this app/chatbot since the contract began?

What is the duration of the contract and has it been extended?

Please share any evaluation, review or report of the use of application or chatbot.

Please indicate how these chatbots or apps contribute to public confidence.

Please share the most recent force-level (NOT national level) document relating to how the force plans to gain or improve public confidence.

Please share any official protocol or guidance for the use of the app or bot.

Yours faithfully,

Matilda Woods.

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Thank you for your request for information. Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act. In some circumstances Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable to achieve this deadline if consideration needs to be given to the public interest test. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

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#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

3 Atodiad

Legal Services Directorate

Force Headquarters,

PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead,

Bristol,

BS20 8QJ

Email [email address]    

 

 

 

 

Matilda Woods Our 723/21
<[FOI #762023 email]> Reference
Date 01
July
2021

 

Dear Matilda

 

Re: Request for information dated 3 June 2021 under the Freedom of
Information Act.

 

I write in connection with your above request where you asked as follows:-

 

1.     What apps or chatbots does your force use to communicate with the
public?

 

2.     Can the app/chatbot be considered “smart” (obtaining natural
language understanding, natural language generation and machine learning
engines)?

 

3.     If you do not make use of "smart" technology, what is your
reasoning behind this decision?

 

4.     Are these chatbots/apps used within third party applications or
websites, such as Facebook?

 

5.     Which service providers develop, deliver and/or maintain these
apps/chatbots?

 

6.     How much has been spent on this app/chatbot since the contract
began?

 

7.     What is the duration of the contract and has it been extended?

 

8.     Please share any evaluation, review or report of the use of
application or chatbot.

 

9.     Please indicate how these chatbots or apps contribute to public
confidence.

 

10.  Please share the most recent force-level (NOT national level)
document relating to how the force plans to gain or improve public
confidence.

 

11.  Please share any official protocol or guidance for the use of the app
or bot.

 

Our response:

 

Avon and Somerset Constabulary does not use apps or chatbots to
communicate with members of the public.

 

We can therefore confirm that no information has been identified in
regards to questions 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11.

 

In respect of question 3, we have looked into the use of chatbots and at
this time we feel the current online user experience on the website -
which is focussed on strong information architecture, is optimised for
user search queries, and has clear reporting channels - does not warrant
the need for a chatbot.

 

In respect of question 10, please find attached our Force Management
Statement which we have identified as being relevant to your request for
the most recent force-level document relating to how the force plans to
gain or improve public confidence.  This shows our strategies and provides
associated commentary surrounding how we will translate strategies into
operational activity and increase public confidence

 

Public confidence is one of the most important measures of successful
policing - most outcomes impact the public confidence rating.  You may
find the information contained in the following link useful:  

 

[1]https://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/w...

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Catherine Westwood

Disclosure Officer

[2]www.avonandsomerset.police.uk  | Follow us on [3]Twitter and
[4]Facebook

 

 

 

Please note:

1.      Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.      Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing.

3.      Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure (copy
attached).

 

 

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