Technology shaping police contact

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins and the police and crime commissioner (PCC) have launched a consultation on how the public would like to contact the force, with technology likely to be at the core of any new developments.

Jan 11, 2017
By Paul Jacques

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins and the police and crime commissioner (PCC) have launched a consultation on how the public would like to contact the force, with technology likely to be at the core of any new developments.

“There are many new and emerging pressures attached to modern-day policing that we must manage in the most efficient and effective way we can,” said Ms Collins.

“At the same time, however, there are opportunities to transform how we do business both now and in the future.

“This survey will therefore help us understand how people interact with the police in an era when technology has become more accessible than it has ever been before.

“By tailoring our resources to the expectations of our various communities, we can make sure we deliver the best service possible to keep everyone safe and feeling safe.”

The force has invested heavily in its IT infrastructure, including handheld electronic devices that allow police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) to remain in the communities they serve rather than being unnecessarily held up behind desks.

Improvements have also been made to public access to the force through other means, such as online crime recording, social media and ‘live chat’ through the

West Yorkshire Police website, which has reduced the demand for face-to-face contact.

West Yorkshire PCC Mark Burns-Williamson said they were looking to learn more about how and why the public contacts the force, whether they have visited their local police station or other public inquiry counters recently and establish whether they know about the “many new ways of contacting the police that are available”.

“This will enable us to better understand the needs of our communities as we look to deliver an improving police service into the future,” he added.

“I’m very aware that not everyone uses the internet or even has access to a computer, but their views are equally important.

“The effect of budget cuts are still being felt and continue to have an impact; this is about making sure our resources are used as effectively as possible.”

He said since 2010, West Yorkshire Police has lost more than 2,000 police officers and staff, but this year has been able to start recruiting 600 new police officers and also protect PCSO numbers.

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