New Dorset Police Website Helps People ‘Do It Online’
Dorset Police has relaunched its website this month, with a cleaner design that gives people the information they need and new services to get in touch with the force.
The site has been entirely redesigned based on feedback from the public, the Police & Crime Commissioner’s promise to improve online services, and research into what works well on other websites.
Explaining the new website, Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Many people now choose to interact with their bank, insurance companies, the Government and other agencies online, so they expect the police to offer the same kind of streamlined experience. We want people to be able to report a crime or give us feedback online, as easily as they can renew their vehicle tax or get an insurance quote.
“Our new website is very clear and simple to use. We have removed unnecessary graphics, confusing buttons and dozens of menu options to focus on quickly providing the information people want and helping them interact with us. The design is also optimised for smartphones and tablets, as research shows most people now prefer to use mobile devices rather than laptops or computers.
“As well as providing lots of new ways to contact us, the site has more information from each Neighbourhood Policing Team about their work and how the public can help set local policing priorities. It also provides crime prevention advice, live news and witness appeals, and other information about Dorset Police.”
The ‘Do It Online’ section of the site includes services to report a non-emergency crime or incident, pass a message to an officer or request a call back, make a complaint or give compliments and feedback, submit a Freedom of Information request, or report lost property. It is also hoped that carrying out simpler enquiries quickly online will reduce demand on the 101 telephone service, making it quicker for people to speak to a call handler for more complex or urgent issues.
Each Neighbourhood Policing Team page now includes a summary of their local area, photos of all the officers and PCSOs working there, the priorities they are working on and how the public can help set these priorities, and advertises events to meet the team in person or interact with them online. Residents can already connect with their local team on Facebook and Twitter and, in the near future, the teams will be holding interactive public meetings on the website as well as attending face-to-face community meetings.
Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The new Dorset Police website is a real step forward in modernising how the public can interact with the police.
“As part of the Your Dorset, Your Police, Your View project last year, 82% of local people said they wanted to be able to report non-urgent crimes on the website and 60% wanted to engage with their Neighbourhood Policing Team online. This new site meets those expectations. I am particularly pleased that it works so well on mobile devices and that the design is much cleaner than the cluttered old site.
“I hope local people will make use of the new ways they have to interact with Dorset Police and influence their local policing priorities; whether by taking part in online polls and webchats or meeting their local officers and PCSOs at the events advertised on the site. The website also makes it really use for the public to raise any concerns or give feedback, and people can continue to let me and my team know about any issues that are important to them.”
Dorset Police will be highlighting the site’s new features on social media over the next week using the hashtag #doitonline. They are also requesting any views from the public about the website, either by using this hashtag or by clicking on the ‘Provide feedback’ link at the bottom of each webpage.