Local police launch Amazon Alexa news feed

Two local polices forces have begun using Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, to produce police news briefings for the public.

West Yorkshire Police and Lancashire are the two forces deploying the smart technology service. The latter first announce using Alexa to fight crime at the start of the year, which will allow residents to better connect to the local force and report incidents.

Now, the forces in the North of England have developed new and information services that are available through devices operating with Alexa software. The skills can be downloaded from retail and digital service provider stores to work with Alexa’s app and Echo devices.

PC Rob Flanagan led the project that encourages using Alexa in the community, to fight crime, saying that forces across the country want to better the services with the technology that is available.

Lancashire Constabulary’s innovations manager, Flanagan, 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.Police forces launch Amazon Alexa news feed

“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.”

The voice-activated service is updated on an hourly basis by West Yorkshire force and Lancashire police force updates its public news feed daily.

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Amazon’s Alexa has been used in many other public services as well over the last few months. The MET Office has taken advantage of its capabilities, bringing better more accurate weather services to residents.

Other public services such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and Met Office have also taken advantage of Amazon’s assistant. The DVLA uses Alexa to give drivers the ability to track and update taxes on their cars and other information from the office.