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Telephone Surveys

Public Opinion Surveys

Why measure public attitudes?

Northamptonshire Police wants to give the best possible service to its communities and wants you to have confidence that it is dealing with the issues that matter in your local area.

Improving public confidence is fundamental to the Chief Constable's vision for the future as well as the successful delivery of the “Putting Communities First” strategy.

Northamptonshire Police believes that by listening to people's views it can make better, informed decisions about how the Police can work with partner agencies to deliver a safer environment for all communities.

Northamptonshire Police Public Attitude Survey

Since June 2007, the Corporate Development Department at Force Headquarters has conducted an ongoing survey with members of the public across the county to capture public opinions at a more regular and localised level than that provided by the Crime Survey for England and Wales1.

The survey asks a series of questions to help the Force and local partners2 understand the views and experiences of residents about life in their local neighbourhood and how they can best adapt their approach in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. The questions revolve around visibility, accessibility, safety at night, anti-social behaviour and confidence in the police.

The data is used to help identify areas of groups of people with different opinions so that strategies can be targeted to those locations or groups to improve service and public opinion.

You can access the latest data by clicking here.

How is the Northamptonshire Police public attitude survey conducted?

Members of the public are surveyed on a random basis3 by telephone through the Force telephone bureau, based within Corporate Development at Force Headquarters. The telephone bureau will normally work Monday to Friday from 4.30 to 9.30 p.m. as well as Saturday mornings.

Victim Satisfaction Surveys

Northamptonshire Police is required by the Home Office (along with every other police service in England and Wales ) to conduct surveys with victims of certain crimes. The surveys are designed to assess the Force against the following key measures:-

  • Satisfaction with the ease of contacting someone who could assist
  • Satisfaction with the initial actions taken by the police
  • Satisfaction with the method and frequency of being informed of progress
  • Satisfaction with the treatment received from the police officers and staff
  • Satisfaction with the overall service provided by the police in the case

In addition to complying with Home Office requirements, the Force uses the feedback captured in the surveys to find ways of improving the service that it provides as well as adapting its approach to suit the needs of the community.

The Home Office require the Force to survey:

  • Burglary victims (burglary, attempted burglary or aggravated burglary)
  • Violence victims (GBH, ABH, robbery, poisoning, common assault)
  • Vehicle crime (aggravated vehicle taking, theft/unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicles)
  • Racist incidents/crimes

You can access the latest data by clicking here.

There are certain types of victims who are automatically excluded for vulnerability/sensitivity reasons, such as those under 16 years, or victims of domestic violence.

Victims are contacted 6 to 12 weeks after reporting the crime/incident in order to understand their experience of the whole service from the police. In adhering to this timescale, it is hoped that the victim can recall the crime/incident in order to accurately measure the service received as well as providing a suitable period, in the majority of cases, for all the key milestones to have been achieved.

A sample of victims is randomly selected based on the profile of victims recorded in the previous year. For example, if 5% of burglary victims were white males aged 25-34 years, then 5% of those victims surveyed would be white male victims aged 25-34 years. In terms of sample size, approximately 1,800 people are surveyed each year across these different crime types.

Northamptonshire Police also conducts surveys with the following additional victim groups going beyond those required by the Home Office:

  • Hate crime victims (homophobic, faith-based and disablist incidents/crimes)
  • Antisocial behaviour victims/callers

To ensure comparability and validity of results, all Forces are required to adopt the same methodology when carrying out the surveys. It is, therefore, mandatory for each Force to gather the satisfaction data by way of telephone surveys. It is understood that the majority of Forces have outsourced this to an external company; however, Northamptonshire Police have established their own internal telephone bureau to support this activity.

1 The Crime Survey for England and Wales provides official information about public perceptions of crime and policing reported on a quarterly basis at county level, with comparisons to other forces nationally. You access the latest data by visiting the Crime Survey for England and Wales pages.2 Northamptonshire Police work together as members of the Community Safety Partnerships, alongside local councils, Fire, Health and the Probation Service.3 The only information held is a telephone number, postcode and district area.

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