The first survey that measures how the police service in England and Wales conducts and manages contact with the public has been launched by Police Minister Tony McNulty.
The National Benchmarking Exercise 2008 report compares contact with the public to how it is handled by other public sector and private businesses.
Key findings show that:
- Police force contact centres are considered to be of a very high standard and are doing a very good job, e.g. call handling for 999 is predictably good, but forces also do well in non-emergency calls.
- Police contact centres are extremely customer service and citizen focused, with excellent customer satisfaction, scoring results as high as 90%.
- Many police forces achieved good first call resolution (FCR) rates – this is considered a good indicator of high customer service levels.
- Staff retention and length of service rates are generally much higher than average. This is partly because police contact centres appear to be highly skilled, rewarding and complex places to work.
- 96% of forces ranked “improving service” as one of their top three priorities, compared with 82% in the public sector.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) oversaw the exercise involving the 43 police forces in England and Wales, British Transport Police (BTP) and Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), making a total of 45 forces.
Tony McNulty MP, Minister for Police, Crime, Security and Counter Terrorism said: “How the police conduct and manage contact with the public is a key element of our citizen-focused approach to policing, which has customer service at its core. Public confidence in the police is key and I’m pleased to find results of this survey show that the professionalism and quality of service from the police when handling calls from the public is as good as, or better than, other public and private sector organisations.”
Superintendent Peter Major, NPIA’s Project Leader on the Contact Management Programme said: “We are delighted with the key findings of this pioneering report. As a national first, the survey clearly demonstrates that modern policing does take a public focused approach and in key areas of contact management, it is considered world class.”
Peter Major concluded: “This benchmarking exercise allows the police service to confidently quantify and identify where performance has been good, allowing this to be shared between forces and it also highlights where improvement is required. The survey forms a fundamental part of a review of police contact management for the 21st century.”
Martin Dove, Managing Director of Contact Centre specialists Merchants, which carried out the Report for the NPIA, said: “It is very encouraging to see a public service take customer management so seriously and we are proud to have delivered this first National Police Contact Management exercise with NPIA. We are pleased to be able to report how well England and Wales police compare on a global stage and hope that our recommendations will help to serve citizens.”