Icelandic police take aim at citizen engagement using Instagram

Officers in Iceland’s Reykjavik Metropolitan Police have taken to Instagram to show what it’s like to serve on the force in a bid to forge closer relations with the public.

Building snowmen and cuddling with kittens may not seem like typical police work, but for officers on Iceland’s Reykjavik metropolitan police force, it’s just part of the job.

At least, so it seems from the force’s Instagram. The police department for Iceland’s blistery capital city uses its social media accounts to engage with the people it serves. But recently its particularly quirky Instagram feed has received international attention. Followers can see pictures of officers doing everything from ordering smoothies to fixing their bicycles and talking to a parrot.

It’s not exactly the sort of thing you see on Law and Order, but Thorir Ingvarsson, the Reykjavik metropolitan detective inspector who runs the social media program, said Icelanders like having a close relationship with their police. Iceland, by the way, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Iceland’s police department may be onto something.  A new survey released late last month by Accenture reveals a large majority of citizens in eight digitally-advanced countries believe they have a role to play in police services by engaging with police via online and digital tools, including websites and social media.


Read the full story on Iceland’s novel approach on FedScoop.

Latest Podcasts