Go online to influence how we police your area. That’s the message from Nottinghamshire Police which has launched a web-based version of its Neighbourhood Priority Survey.
Previously, the force asked people who live in Nottinghamshire to say what matters to them and what they want police to focus on in their area by completing a paper-based Neighbourhood Priority Survey.
The results are then used when Neighbourhood Policing Teams are consulting with the community on what the policing priorities should be for each area.
The new online survey allows everyone in Nottinghamshire with access to the internet to tell police what issues are affecting them, at a time and place convenient to them.
Completed anonymously, the survey asks visitors to explain what concerns they have about criminal activity where they live. It asks for information about a range of concerns, including antisocial behaviour, speeding, street drinking, nuisance vehicles and other criminal activity.
Respondents can give more information about the offences being committed and the days and times incidents are happening. They can also pinpoint exactly where the problems are, with a marker on a map.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Scarrott said: “This is an exciting development and shows our commitment to making the best use of technology to effectively communicate with the people we serve. It will allow people to tell us what is important to them quickly and effectively and at their own convenience.
“Although it is not a vehicle for reporting emergencies or specific crimes, the information we receive will help Neighbourhood Policing Teams to set local priorities for their area and develop long-term solutions to persistent problems.
“Neighbourhood Policing is all about responding to local concerns and directing our resources in the right way to ensure we are dealing with issues that affect people’s lives.
“We would like to encourage as many people as possible to log on and complete the survey. The more responses we get, the better equipped we will be to set local priorities according to local concerns and ensure our teams are accurately focusing their efforts.”
The results of the surveys will be fed directly into a database which Neighbourhood Policing Teams use as part of the process to set local policing priorities in consultation with partners and community representatives at Safer Neighbourhood Committee meetings.
Updates on progress that has been made against the priorities for each area are published regularly on the force website (www.nottinghamshire.police.uk)
The online survey cost £2,500 to develop, which the force believes represents excellent value for money if it potentially allows an estimated 75 per cent of households in the county to have their say on policing priorities in their own area. (Source: Office for National Statistics, Internet Access 2010 Statistical Bulletin, estimate of households in East Midlands with internet access)
Members of the public will still be able to complete paper-based Neighbourhood Priority Surveys on request, either by contacting their local beat team, requesting a survey at local policing events or visiting their local police station.