Somep - "Solving Crime Through Social Media: Improving Vocational Competencies In Security Sector" - is a Transfer of Innovation Project under Lifelong Learning Programme and Leonardo da Vinci Sub-Programme aiming to provide vocational improvement and training service about the use of social media by the police.
The use of social media platforms by police forces not only provides the main scope and content of SOMEP, but it is one of the novel and current points of research and studies about policing. Most of these studies or experts in the field state that: most police units in countries with high social media use attained significant accomplishments through these platforms and analysis of social media content provides a great opportunity for crime prevention and criminal apprehension; and that involved parties participate in relevant training activities and raise their knowledge and awareness on the power, scope and limits of social media and this, in turn, promotes the added value of social media to policing (Please refer to: Çalı & Altunbaş, 2012).
While some countries are still at planning stage, some others have been actively using social media for a period of time and a level of expertise and first experiences are attained thus creating an essential background for sharing best practices in this field (Please refer to: Best Practice in Police Social Media Adaptation, 2012 by COMPOSITE Project). Such sharing initiatives are of high importance for the use of social media by police units and for identifying possible ways and approaches to adopt social media to current policing practices. SOMEP aims to endorse the efforts to specify differences and commonalities in this field and thus establish a more substantial and wide-scale basis, by identifying, improving and disseminating the state-of-the-art in vocational training. For this reason, SOMEP stands for a virtual and vocational training platform including innovative methods for target groups (police officers). Focusing on vocational training with an innovative and sustainable perspective, SOMEP aims to surpass the limits of traditional in-service training practices thus attracting individuals to vocational training activities and providing equal opportunities. SOMEP develops a virtual learning environment equipped with advanced technology components. It is user friendly and compatible with emerging technologies.
Devised to run for 18 months, SOMEP is built upon 8 interconnected work packages. In this context, administrative work packages are aimed at attaining project outcomes as an integral part of objectives and expected outcomes. Research activities within the project have a theoretical and empirical stance for the creation of supportive data for project outcomes. Relevant experiences will be endorsed through new findings and results by using theoretical and empirical scope of social media researchers conducted under COMPOSITE project. The latter work packages mainly focus on integrating accumulated knowledge on the adoption of social media into current policing practices to vocational training and include implementation and dissemination studies in this scope.