Many thanks to everyone, both police and public, who have helped in publicising this research – it is all much appreciated. Your assistance has meant that the word is slowly getting out about this, and support for the project is building which is great to see. I still need a lot more people to help though. This is not being ‘greedy’, it’s just that a larger sample size will help make the work more robust. So please keep letting people know! I am especially keen to get this message out on the main police accounts as this can hit a large number of people. I have had some success but if any officers out there can influence this then please help if you can.
In terms of progress, things are moving on well and it won’t be too long now before I can post questionnaires up and get this rolling. As I mentioned, again last time, I need to make sure this is right as good research is always based on good design and good measures. Which brings me onto the main point here.
As more people get involved there are, quite naturally, questions arising about the research. So I thought it best to respond to some of these as I think they are all valid and help to clarify what is being done.
- Will your research be impartial?
In a previous post I praise the work done by the police so surely, people suggest, I will have a bias in my findings. The answer to this is that good research is always designed to both avoid, and prevent bias from occurring. I do, it so happens, have positive opinions about the work that police do. However, this will not, in any way, impact on the analysis that will be done on the data collected here. The statistics will show how tweets impact on people’s attitudes and feelings about crime, nothing else.
2. Why do you think that police tweets cause people worry?
The bottom line here is that I don’t. I don’t have any preconceptions on which way things will come out here. As an earlier post points out, research has shown that, for some people, increased exposure to crime information can increase anxiety about victimisation. For others, though, it is re-assuring. I am hoping that a robust and careful study will help examine this more and simply help to understand the processes at play more clearly.
3. Is the research being used to censor what police can tweet?
No. I have no influence in this anyway and have no desire to impact on that at all. I simply think that this work can help inform both police and public about how social media such as this can best be used to reduce people’s anxiety and fear about crime. That I only see as a positive. Censorship doesn’t come into this at all.
Please keep the questions coming and let me know if you need any more information at all!