Police force uses Alexa to deliver community news

A police force is streaming daily briefings straight to people's homes with the launch of a new voice-activated app.

Amazon Alexa users can sign up to receive the latest news and information from Lancashire Constabulary directly to their smart speaker.

The free app - available from the Amazon store - will provide hourly updates and also sends pictures of wanted and missing people to the user's smart device.

The project is the brainchild of Pc Rob Flanagan, Lancashire Constabulary's innovations manager, who has worked with developers from Amazon to bring the idea to life.

He said: "As a police force we are always looking at ways to engage with our communities.

"Alexa works alongside traditional policing methods to inform the public about the important issues in their neighbourhoods.

"Voice-activated searches now account for 10% of online searches and are expected to rise to 50% by 2020.

"We want to be at the forefront of this new technology to make it easier for the public to access the information they want to know."

Lancashire Constabulary says it is the first police force in the UK to use smart speaker technology to engage with the community.

The Alexa launch coincides with a recruitment drive in the county which will see around 200 new police officers sworn in to front line policing duties in 2018/19.

Pc Flanagan added: "It is still very much in its infancy but we are looking forward to exploring the ways in which we can use this technology in the communities we serve."