Headlines: November 30th, 2009

People have a low expectation of the service provided by police and believe that customer service is not what they are good at. In a move to dispel these misconceptions a marketing campaign has been launched to present the police service as customer friendly.

The public’s perception of the police service as customer unfriendly emerged in a survey. It revealed that over half of the public think they would have to wait more than 48 hours for an appointment with a police officer to discuss a non-emergency matter. Only three per cent of people think that their local police spend more than 75 per cent of their time on the beat in their area.

The campaign will focus on two of the promises within the police pledge, that the neighbourhood policing team spend 80 per cent of their time visibly working in your neighbourhood and that you can make an appointment to see your local police at a time that suits you within 48 hours about non-emergency problems. Publicity will make it clear that all police forces have signed up to these standards of service and it is hoped that people will have greater confidence to come forward to report crime and give evidence against criminals in court.

A wide range of channels will be used for marketing the message including television, press and online adverts and advertorials in women’s magazines. In the survey 77 per cent of those interested said that the most useful way to receive such information would be as a leaflet through the door and this will be one of the main ways of delivering the message. The survey also revealed that 81 per cent of people would find it useful to receive information which provided the contact details for the local police and other crime and anti-social behaviour services in their area and this will be set out in the leaflets.

The campaign also promotes a newly developed crime and justice area of the Directgov website as a key way for people to access information about police, crime, justice and anti-social behaviour services. It includes details of local neighbourhood policing teams, crime maps, how to nominate areas to be cleaned up by offenders undertaking community payback and services for victims and witnesses.