MyPolice is an online feedback tool that enables the public and the police to have a conversation, and help people in local communities identify weaknesses in their policy service, and work with local forces to fix them. Most interestingly, all this data is then fed back to the police to help them improve. In short — a really good idea, and one supported by a range of groups, from Geoff Mulgan’s Young Foundation to Tom Steinberg’s MySociety.org.
The two founders were dismayed to find out recently that HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) — the police OFSTED — had decided to launch a vaguely similar site, with exactly the same name. The news wasn’t just irksome, but threatened their very survival: their organisation needs a good google ranking to allow the public to find them, and they had spent a year building relationships under their brand. Both of these won’t happen if a giant bureaucracy gobbles up the name, and creates confusion over who the real MyPolice might be.
And yet the people at Left Foot Forward (otherwise known as The Papists) would be the first to shout you down if you started talking about government crowding out of productive private sector businesses.