25 years ago today, August 23rd 1991, Tim Berners-Lee opened the World Wide Web to all those who wished to access it. Since that day, the World Wide Web has been allowing the world a means of accessing and sharing information.
For clarification, the ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’ are two distinct things. The internet is a mass network of computers, while the World Wide Web is how you can access and share the information across them. Researchers and scientists used this technology to send files to one another since the 1960s, but it was Tim Berners-Lee who came up with the idea of making it a web of information accessible for everyone.
More significant, however, is how the World Wide Web has become a vital part of modern emergency services. Aiding teams across the world to locate missing and wanted people through sophisticated satellite and wireless technology solutions.
The Web has also become an important platform for police and rescue teams to share crime prevention messages and enhance the effectiveness of public safety messaging. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter which allow us to tweet, post and blog instant messages are just some examples of how we now communicate messages and access news.
Speed and connectivity has also allowed emergency service teams across the world to connect and provide faster responses, as well as giving them quicker, easier access to information and innovative applications to aid in their everyday work.
Sabina Enback, lead researcher at Skills for Justice said: “UK emergency services are doing a fantastic job in engaging with members of the public online, especially on social media and studies have shown that this kind of engagement fosters good community relationships.
“There is a lot of interesting research being undertaken at the moment to see how the internet, and social media in particular, can aid in predicting crime. It is clear that the internet and social media will require increasing levels of policing as Twitter and Facebook have become our new public spaces.
“As these types of public spaces differ so markedly from traditional public spaces that the police have worked in, it is crucial that officers are supported in acquiring the skills needed for this work and that their roles are scoped out appropriately.“