HMIC (Government body assessing the performance of the police) are launching a site called My Police which will report on statistics for the police,
this saturday (13th March) at 9.30am sometime (edit: the page has been changed in the past hour). A quick search on the internet reveals only one reference to the HMIC site; the West Midlands Police Authority’s Chief Executive’s report dated 18th Feb 2010. According to the report, it says:
HMIC have indicated that they intend to publish the ‘Police Report Card’ in the week beginning 8 March 2010. The information will be published as part of the HMIC website, likely to be entitled ‘My Police’. The card is likely to cover a number of themes to include local policing, protection from serious harm, anti-social behaviour and value for money. The report will be a mix of data reports, narrative, gradings and direction of travel.
On Monday we were notified by email from the HMIC that they are launching a product called My police at midnight tonight. Apparently, to our knowledge, it is a site about the public feeding back on police statistics (including how much they spend in their areas) to discern the best/worst police force in the UK and other such trivia’s.
The purpose of their email was to ask us to get in touch to discuss the issue of any misdirected traffic. Further to the name, they bought all the related domain names (something I had tried to do a while ago) and chose to use http://mypolice.org.uk for their product, even though the product is also available on the HMIC site. Our domain is http://mypolice.org, this is, as you can see, a huge issue for us.
We began correspondence with them today via phone and email. There was no budging on changing the name or domain. In goodwill they have offered us the other domains but we still feel that without changing the name, this is irrelevant.
She goes on to explain that she thinks this is a problem because:
We are in an extremely narrow market, and it is incredibly likely that confusion would arise if they continue to use our name, Mypolice.
It is extremely unprofessional to view all our channels and move forward with the name mypolice.
If HMIC launch as Mypolice, they will run the risk of confusing the public to think they are an independent company, which they are not.
Which are all valid and very reasonable concerns. MyPolice has been tweeting about this issue all morning – so much so that their servers are currently overloaded.
As someone who was involved in MyPolice back in SICamp, and knowing Sarah and Lauren, this must seem like an obstacle out of nowhere for them. I hope the issue gets resolved somehow, and that both parties find someway around the issue. Who would have thought? Two sets of people coming up with the same name? Good luck girls – and I hope we all get a satisfactory result.
Wed afternoon (10th March) Update: Check out the cheeky, but funny http://myhmic.org!
Thursday morning update (11th March) Further Update: According to MyPolice and Ian Cuddy, HMIC are continuing with My Police as the name. You can now show your support for MyPolice with a twibbon: http://bit.ly/aGicCM