Create a volunteer group to observe police contact
This is closely linked to another commitment to create a Customer Service Improvement Panel examining complaints about the service. It forms part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s desire to scrutinise the Force’s public contact and provide feedback and recommendations for improvement.
Each quarter, the panel looks closely at a random selection of correspondence made to Dorset Police to evaluate their handling.
Independent members assess whether non-emergency phone calls, emails and other forms of contact are handled appropriately. Feedback is then passed onto the Force for consideration and action, as appropriate.
Every member of the panel has been provided with access to the Force control room so they can observe the activity in live time and best understand the complexities of dealing with correspondence.
This has included listening to ongoing non-emergency and 999 calls as well as having sight of the systems used by call handlers, dispatchers and police officers. Such insight has helped panel members better understand the operating environment and make constructive and relevant recommendations.
As a result of the panel’s feedback, the Force has adopted new service standards and, on those occasions that these standards aren’t met, members of the public are proactively contacted to explain why this should be the case. The Force also uses the opinions and advice offered by the panel to shape communications campaigns, recruitment activity and improve systems and processes.
Recommendations from the panel are reported to the Force’s Legitimacy Board and additional actions greed in consultation with the Chief Constable.