- Target Audience
- Online communityYouth/pupils/studentsGeneral public
- key themes association
- Internet and radicalisationJudiciary and law enforcement
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board web-constables
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board web-constables are financed by the police (they are part of the police).
Type of Organisation: Governmental institution
Web constables are police officers with active profiles in various social media networks (Facebook, VK.com, various Estonian forums). They participate in discussions and make themselves available to other users wishing to ask questions, offer support or make complaints about other people or the police.
The web constables participate in different groups where users discuss local issues. They try to resolve cyberbullying cases wherever they occur (including gaming sites or forums where they are not usually active but may intervene in order to resolve conflict or issues amongst children or young people).
These issues are sometimes more efficiently dealt with through social media. Their principal concern is minors, in particular those who might plan to attack schools.
They carry out background checks in the police database and social media and pass this information on to local police departments who can provide the kind of localised information not available on social media (e.g. the presence of domestic violence, school issues, the feasibility of obtaining weapons). The final step for the web constables is to draw up a plan to support and assist the child or young person in question.
Radical-leaning adolescents (chiefly so-called skinheads) have provided positive feedback — they are benefiting from the web constables' help in solving real-life problems without having to visit the police quarters. They reciprocate by providing information on minors wishing to become skinheads who display antisocial behaviour or on dangerous drivers.
Questions are frequently posted on the police website. The web constables also maintain active Facebook pages providing the latest news in criminal activity and warnings about viruses or other relevant matters.
The website is used to offer other public services such as Internet safety lectures or the safer Internet web page, and PowerPoint presentations explaining police work.
They have also participated in numerous meetings, seminars and practical workshops.