The Commissioner has a statutory obligation to engage with communities under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 as well as to consider the welfare of victims. Therefore the Commissioner has a commitment to:
- Listen to and value the voice of the people in policing matters;
- Ensure communities are given the opportunity to participate to the fullest possible extent in the decisions that affect their lives and in delivering the police services that make a difference to them;
- Offer a wide range of engagement activities to give as many people as possible including diverse groups an opportunity to participate.
The Commissioner will have four strategic areas that will require on-going public engagement:
- Police and Crime Priorities – linking to the Police and Crime Plan
- Budget – value for money and future levels of council tax precept
- Quality of Service – ensuring that the service provided meets expectations
- Victims – consider the welfare of victims
In addition there may be other public engagement that takes place throughout the Commissioner’s tenure.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, under the direction of the Head of Business Services and Communications, has adopted the following principles in order to meet these statutory requirements.
Principles of OPCC Public Engagement
To ensure that engagement is undertaken to the highest standard and the findings are accurate and can be used to influence strategic decisions.
- The engagement activities will be two-way and where possible people are informed of their influence on decisions and the results.
- People are confident that their views are being gathered, listened to and used to improve police services and improve knowledge and confidence in the role of the Commissioner.
- To increase awareness of the role and the work of the Commissioner.
- To build and develop relationships between the Commissioner, public, partners, private sector, volunteers and third sector.
- To recognise and respect the various cultures (protected characteristics) and diversity of communities and other factors that influence how different members of the public will engage/ are likely to communicate and engage in all aspects of designing and implementing community engagement approaches.
- Provision of a comprehensive and robust communications strategy using all forms of communication.
The OPCC has identified the following desire outcomes of public engagement
OPCC Identified Engagement Outcomes
- People feel that their voice is being heard.
- Raise the profile and understanding of the Commissioner’s role.
- All results are used to improve decision making and that the decisions are firmly based on the evidence of local needs alongside strategic policing.
- Ensure that the results of the community engagement are communicated and where required linked to improve services and quality of service.
- Communities feel that they have been empowered.
- All partners and the third sector feel that their voices are being included in decision making.
- Actively engage groups that don’t normally participate with the Police and diverse communities are afforded the opportunity to as well. Utilising the Strategic Independent Advisory members and their groups.
- The information ascertained from complaints is used to influence decisions and future quality of service.