This report from the EU project?Medi@4Sec?summarizes practices of social media use in public security. Our goal is to create an inventory of best practices, lessons-learned, and roles and responsibilities, to analyse specifically how social media is being used by police and other public security planners, within and outside Europe. By providing an overall description, we aim to spark discussions and provide a common language for social media use in the field of public security planning.

Using data from academic literature review, the review of blogs, books, existing best practice descriptions and expert knowledge this report compares social media practices. Inspired by Christopher Alexander?s work on ?pattern languages? for urban spaces and buildings, we analysed the data and looked for patterns. To further refine our findings, we presented the practice patterns to social media and security experts and interviewed them about their perspective and current practices.

As a result, we identified 74 practice patterns that describe and structure the use of social media for public security. The patterns are structured in three groups, describing how (1) law enforcement agencies (LEAs), such as the police, (2) citizens and (3) criminals are using social media and impact public security. With 50 patterns, the focus of our work is on group (1), the LEAs.
Each pattern has a unique name (written in capital letters) and describes a solution to a recurring problem or context. Following an image and a very concise summary of the pattern, this report provides links to online resources that detail the given practices. The patterns have been designed to be printed and shared as an input for workshops and strategic discussions of practitioners and public security planners.


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