WEST Midlands Police is to start using Bluetooth technology as a new way of communicating with the public.
The technology will be used to send information ranging from generic crime prevention advice and appeals for witnesses to information on major events e.g. traffic restrictions caused due to football matches.
The use of the technology forms part of a move to try new media to reach the wider community, especially young people, who are often enthusiastic mobile phone users.
The messages, in the form of videos or texts, can be sent to anyone with a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a mobile phone, PDA or computer, who is within a half-mile radius of where the message has been sent.
Last month the force joined facebook and You Tube in a move to reach younger members of the community.
Information is delivered to mobile phones using Bluetooth wireless technology from small pods which can be located wherever required. The range of the pods is up to 30 metres, and they can be networked or programmed to operate independently.
The cost-effective technology allows messages to be quickly and easily prepared and distributed, at no cost to the sender or the recipient.
Chief Inspector Mark Payne, said: "As a force we are committed to using new technologies as a way of reaching our communities.
"We will still use traditional methods such as newspapers, letters, leaflets and posters, but Bluetooth technology gives us a sense of immediacy that allows us to engage with people quickly and efficiently."