PEOPLE in Malmesbury are among the first in Wiltshire to be offered text alerts on crimes in their area.
It is one of four areas piloting the scheme that will also allow residents to information back to the police.
Community messaging on email, text or voicemail is part of a national Neighbourhood Alert system used by neighbourhood watches and 12 other police forces.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, who is behind the Wiltshire project, said it was “an exciting new system allowing the police to send emails, texts and voicemail messages to those signed up.
“ It means we will be able to share information quickly and efficiently with our communities, including Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and members.”
People signed up will be able to receive messages like appeals for information, crime prevention advice and police news.
They will also be able to reply to messages, feeding back information to their local neighbourhood officers to help them in policing their local area. But the force has stressed the service is not for reporting emergencies.
Wiltshire already operates Farm Watch and Horse Watch text warnings to alert people to incidents like thefts.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty explained: “This is additional tool with lots of potential for us to use to engage, inform and involve our communities in policing and crime matters.”
As well as Malmesbury the scheme is also going live this week in West Swindon, Pewsey and Warminster.
The commissioner and the chief constable are due to be at the Market Cross in Malmesbury on Tuesday between 1pm and 3pm with local officers to talk about the scheme.