01 Sep 2022

Law enforcement: engage with today’s public and shift to digital tools and services

BMT Defence and Security UK Ltd Stand: F10
Law enforcement: engage with today’s public and shift to digital tools and services
A BMT survey of the public about police contact
A BMT national survey, designed to understand more about the public’s experience when engaging with their local police forces, highlights the importance of public education and sharing information around newer digital communications tools for reporting incidents and managing enquiries.

BMT, a leading international multi-disciplinary engineering and design consultancy, has launched the results of a national survey designed to understand more about the public’s experience when engaging with their local police forces. The results highlight the importance of public education and sharing information around newer digital communications tools for reporting incidents and managing enquiries, with the report providing recommendations to forces on how to increase engagement across digital platforms.

The survey explored public awareness and understanding of digital solutions that could be used to improve public contact management for local forces, with the aim of understanding public perceptions and the behaviours driving engagement with these new channels. BMT designed and commissioned a survey of 1500 members of the public, asking a series of questions exploring how comfortable they felt using newer, more digitally focused reporting methods when requesting services from the police.

Participants were asked a series of questions testing their understanding of emergency and non-emergency reporting systems, as well as newly emerging ways of contacting the police such as web chat, online forms and messaging over social media. The results show that whilst more than half of respondents were keen to use digital reporting tools, they were uncertain whether their issue would reach the appropriate authority if reported through online channels. The survey also highlighted that over 70% of respondents would like further information about the channels available to them when reporting incidents and monitoring progress.

Christian Ellis, Justice and Security Business Unit Lead at BMT, commented:

‘The demand for the traditional 999 and 101 telephony channels continues to be a considerable obstacle to implementing an effective, multi-channel contact management strategy for local forces. In our day-to-day lives we are moving away from traditional ways of engaging with our service providers as people continue to find new, more effective and increasingly digitally-focused means of communication. What our survey has highlighted is the need for the public to understand which services are available and when to use which platform so that they get the best possible service from their local police forces.’

‘In conducting this survey, we were pleased to be able to offer recommendations to support local forces in ensuring the hard work they have invested in broadening their communications channels and offering different ways for people to engage with them will achieve the best possible results.’

At the Emergency Services Show this year, Jake Rigby (Research and Development Lead) and Christian Ellis (Principal Consultant) will be sharing the reports findings. The social and technological factors driving a change to the UK’s main and traditional methods of policing communication will be discussed by the BMT speakers on Day 1 at 13:50-14:20 in The Future Policing Theatre; ‘The Future of Policing: Building a Strong Connection with the Public’.

During the show, BMT is exhibiting on Stand F10 and can provide recommendations to local forces around raising awareness of digital channels for responsive police work, creating highly reactive and attractive alternatives to traditional telephony and shifting to digital tools and services.

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