A recent West Midlands Police social media campaign has shown a readiness from the public to tap into new services such as reporting non-emergency crimes online.
The force has been listening to the views of more than 1000 members of the public and partners to help shape the future of policing across the region.
The consultation was part of a major new programme called WMP2020, aimed at developing a Blueprint for how the force will operate in the future.
During a seven day social media campaign last month the public were asked to give their views and ideas about policing via a series of daily questions posted on the WMP Facebook and Twitter accounts.
There was a high level of engagement, with 1,600 direct responses to the survey questions posted on the Twitter hashtag #WMP2020.
Topics the public were asked about included: how comfortable they are with officers using new technologies like body worn cameras, their appetite for accessing services and reporting non-emergency crime online, whether people would like the option to be communicated with less traditional means like text, social media or apps and whether they would like to get involved in keeping local neighbourhoods safe.
The full results are being analysed but highlights show an overwhelming keenness for people to be able to access policing services online.
Eighty six per cent of respondents said they wanted to be able to track the progress of an investigation online as well as being able to report non-emergency crimes. Seventy eight per cent indicated they would like to be able to report crime in their area online.
A whopping 92 per cent welcomed the use of new technology such as body worn cameras and the majority of respondents were open to the concept of sharing data in the fight against crime.
Results also show a real sense of community spirit with 87 per cent wanting to get involved in preventing crime and ASB in their area. Ninety four per cent said they are keen to be kept up to date with policing news via social media and more traditional forms of communication such as newsletters.
Contributors were offered the chance of winning a real life police experience. Prizes up for grabs included the chance to visit the police kennels and a visit to the WMP driving school.
In addition to the social media campaign the force has been ensuring the views of those people who are not online are captured.
Members of the public and partners were invited to a series of “customer journey” workshops where they were asked to share their first hand experiences of policing services and to give their views on how we can be more effective.
Local neighbourhood officers have been discussing the WMP2020 programme at local face to face meetings and information packs have been made available for the public.
West Midlands Police is working in partnership with Accenture to help achieve its ambition of delivering significant service improvements against a backdrop of on-going and unprecedented financial challenges.
West Midlands Police is working in partnership with Accenture to help achieve its ambition of delivering significant service improvements against a backdrop of on-going and unprecedented financial challenges. The partnership was launched in July with the view of delivering a five year programme of work.
The first project for the partnership is the development of the WMP2020 blueprint − determining how the force will work in the future. The aim is to help the force continually improve how it serves and protects the communities of the West Midlands and work more closely with partner agencies such as the NHS and local councils.
A detailed report on the final WMP2020 Blueprint and the overall programme will be presented to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Strategic Policing and Crime Board. The WMP2020 programme will form part of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan for 2015-16.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “At a time of financial austerity, the main aim of this project is to give people the highest possible standards of service at better value for money. Involving the public and our partners in the development of the model for the force has been a priority.
“I’m delighted with the level of engagement we’ve had from the public and our partners. The feedback we’ve had so far has been vital in understanding the priorities and perspectives of the public.”
Chief Constable Chris Sims said: “The work we’ve done to engage the public has helped us make sure we understand what people expect from a modern police force.
“The feedback we’ve received has been really important in helping us represent the views of the public and our partners as we shape the new model.
“Completing this phase of engagement has been a vital step towards designing a force that is best placed to meet the needs of people across the West Midlands.
“The new Blueprint we are designing with Accenture will ensure we are ready to face the evolving challenges we face as a force.”