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Published: 09 March 2023

Public Confidence in Policing - Public Briefing - July 2022

Keywords : Public Confidence

Report Summary

A Public Briefing on confidence in policing. Published in July 2022.

Police Scotland – Understanding User Experience

Police Scotland undertakes a monthly local policing User Experience Survey, delivered through independent research partner Progressive Partnership Ltd. The survey is delivered by text message to a random sample of around 14,000 people who have recently contacted police (including 101/999, online and public counter contact at police stations, but excluding some types of crime/incident of a highly sensitive nature).

The survey asks about the individuals experience of local policing services – covering first contact, understanding needs, attending officers (where appropriate) and overall satisfaction – so that the service is able to understand the user journey in more detail and identify areas for improvement or good practice.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, 15,834 individuals completed the survey.

Satisfaction with overall experience during this period was 68%. 

Satisfaction with ease of contact was 73%;

Satisfaction with treatment by the service adviser during initial contact was 84%;

87% of respondents believed that contact staff understood their needs;

Satisfaction with receiving an appropriate response was 65%;

55% of respondents said they were adequately informed about the progress of their case;

Satisfaction with attending officers was 80%.

The data also tell us that how contact is managed is just as important as the outcome for individuals. Analysis of open-ended text comments provided by respondents found that positive public experience is a result of:

Accessibility: ease of contact including 101 waiting times, online reporting, providing reassurance.

Effectiveness: professionalism, clear communications, keeping people informed, showing fairness and respect.

Approachability: listening without judgement, bringing kindness and compassion, and cultural intelligence (use of inclusive language and knowledge of diversity between and within communities).

In recent research conducted by Police Scotland and Victim Support Scotland, survivors of crime emphasised that there must be effective communication between them, police and support services. The quality of engagement and communication, and a quick referral to support services impacts a person’s recovery and reduces perceived delays to justice. Being kept up to date, feeling supported in the most appropriate way and being taken seriously all enhance confidence and trust, and helps people to feel less alone or isolated. Every
interaction with police has an impact - one negative experience can deter someone from reporting a crime and contacting or cooperating with the police again.

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