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A report on the way the police respond to calls for service from the public, published today by HMICS, makes a number of recommendations aimed at improving how the police service updates victims, witnesses and general callers after contact with the police.
The police inspectorate has made 7 recommendations to forces ahead of the publication of the report, which requires them to:-
Publish minimum standards to advise members of the public what to expect in a police response, to make clear to all police staff what is expected of them when responding to the public, to have better understanding of the experiences and expectations of the public, and to make recruitment, selection and training arrangements that have a focus on quality and public service.
"This inspection was prompted by a widespread recognition within the police service that one of the weakest areas in its dealings with the public is a failure to provide updates or 'feedback' on how an enquiry was progressing," said Assistant Inspector of Constabulary Malcolm R Dickson.
" During the inspection we confirmed this weakness but we also found that over the last 10-15 years there has been a reducing focus on the wider issue of the quality of service provided by forces. This is a time when the public quite properly expect good quality services,"
"During the inspection we found some areas where police officers have real difficulty in providing feedback to the public through sheer pressure of work and it will also be important for forces to recognise this when they consider our recommendations.
"Nevertheless, we believe the public should be told what to expect when they call the police and police staff should understand how they can try to meet the public need."