Make PCC surgeries more accessible by creating online option

The PCC has a statutory duty to obtain the views of the community about local policing, including a specific duty to obtain the views of victims of crime.

PCC surgeries enable the PCC to meet Dorset residents in confidence to listen to concerns they might have regarding policing, crime or community safety. PCC surgeries can also help identify themes or trends in public opinion, which can influence policing objectives or service delivery, commissioning and communications strategies, and gather opinion to inform future decisions.

Having offered these surgeries for several years, the PCC was keen that this process should not only continue, but be even more accessible – for that reason he wanted to ensure surgeries could also be held online.

PCC surgeries are held on a monthly basis at a variety of accessible venues and are now advertised on social media. Online surgeries will also be offered where circumstances allow. The PCC attends the surgery with a caseworker who helps facilitate the meeting, takes notes and records any actions identified as a result.

Surgeries are by appointment only, to ensure that the issues being raised relate to policing, crime or community safety, to enable any background research to be carried out and to ensure the PCC is fully briefed on the issue prior to the meeting.

The statistics for PCC Surgeries 2016 – 2019 (Jan to June 2019) are as follows:

 

 

2016

2017

2018

2019 (Jan - Dec)

PCC Surgery Cases

29

13

19

7

PCC Surgery Attendees

34

18

28

9

PCC Surgery Days

15

9

10

9

 

Issues raised have been wide ranging and include anti social behaviour, police processes, community concern, theft, road safety, fraud, mental health, assisting with initiatives, hate crime, police community engagement, business crime, domestic abuse, child abuse, crimes against the church, stalking and harassment, bullying and harassment and sudden deaths.

One example of a surgery outcome is the PCC’s response to concerns raised about people with autistic spectrum disorders in police custody.

As with all detainees, people with autism or Asperger’s were being asked whether they had a mental illness when they were being booked into custody.

However, many said they did not, as they considered autism or Asperger’s to be a condition, rather than a mental illness. This potentially meant custody staff were not being made aware of information that would assist in providing safer and more appropriate management of detainees.

The questions asked in custody suites have now been altered to reduce this risk in future.

Want access to our community messaging system? Sign up for Dorset alert

Confirmation Required