Police launch 12 week improvement programme to improve public satisfaction levels

Improvement: South Yorkshire's police boss Dr Alan Billings has been given details of proposals to raise public satisfaction with the force
Improvement: South Yorkshire's police boss Dr Alan Billings has been given details of proposals to raise public satisfaction with the force
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A new 12 week improvement programme is being introduced across South Yorkshire Police in an attempt to boost satisfaction levels among crime victims after research showed increasing numbers have been unhappy with the way their cases have been handled this year.

The force monitors satisfaction levels among officers and uses four different measurements to rate its own performance, with all falling between April and August this year.

Satisfaction levels vary, with the treatment experienced by victims from police performing best, with numbers of those satisfied hovering around 90 per cent.

However, the performance on the follow-up service victims experience is much worse, with figures down to around 60 per cent in August, from 70 per cent in April.

Satisfaction levels for victims’ initial contact with police and the action taken are also monitored.

Overall, the satisfaction level was 83 per cent.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has now been told the force is introducing a 12 week plan called Satisfaction 90, with the objective of getting overall satisfaction levels up to 90 per cent by the end of that period.

One of the stumbling blocks for the force has been incidents where police do not attend after they have been contacted by the public, where satisfaction levels are currently 69 per cent among those calling for help.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson has told Dr Billings, in a report to his Public Accountability Board, that the force’s Crime Support Hub makes telephone based investigations where crimes where officer attendance is not regarded as necessary, a decision based on potential ‘solvability’.

Mr Watson’s report said: “The CSH reduces demand on our frontline officers and for crimes that require officers to investigate further the CSH develop bespoke investigation and safeguarding plans for officers to follow.”

Each of the force’s four policing districts will implement its own version of Satisfaction 90, overseen by Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley.

Mr Watson said: “We know further improvements are required when we do not or are not required to attend and public expectations not met .

“Key elements of the 12-week plans are about providing the best support and information we can for our victims and explaining what we are going to do right from the victim’s first contact with Atlas Court and through the investigative process.

“We have identified that the four main areas to focus on that will improve victim satisfaction are to increase our attendance where we are required to do so and the timeliness of that; manage how we explain our non-attendance;  improve our follow up update provision; and reduce officer demand so we can have more of our staff available for calls for service.”