PCC supports UCS research into perceptions of crime

Suffolk residents and businesses are being encouraged by Tim Passmore, PCC for Suffolk to take part in a University Campus Suffolk (UCS) survey to help understand perceptions of crime, anti-social behaviour and local policing services in their area.

Working with police in Suffolk and Norfolk, UCS have published an online Community Safety Survey which will be a pivotal part of research led by UCS. It will ask about crime and anti-social behaviour, whether people have witnessed this in their local area and their experiences of encounters with the police.

The results will feed into change programmes currently underway in both counties to identify where cost savings can be made in light of government cuts to policing budgets. It is part of an approach called Evidence Based Policing (EBP) that is being adopted by both police forces as a way of identifying the best way to deliver policing to suit the needs of today’s communities.

Dr Emma Bond, Senior Lecturer and Director of iSEED, says “Evidence Based Policing is about looking at how the police work; rather than doing something because it has always been done that way. It will give both constabularies research which will support working practices, rather than basing these on theory, assumptions, or convention.”

“Once we have the results of the community safety survey, recorded crimes will be analysed and considered alongside the public perceptions and concerns that the survey reveals. A crime audit will then be taking place looking at targeting specific problems and asking why a particular crime is happening in a certain area. This is a long term piece of work for UCS; we’ll be following up this part with another survey to see if trends have changed over time.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “It is hugely important for us to really understand the public’s perceptions of crime, anti-social behaviour and local policing services in their area as we tailor the service to the needs of the communities we serve.

“I am very pleased to support this research by UCS. The public response to this survey will help us to see whether we are meeting the needs of our communities here in Suffolk as we redesign policing in the county with reduced budgets.

“The public have to be at the very forefront of any decisions we make so it is crucially important everyone is encouraged to have their say.”

Temporary Chief Constable for Suffolk Police Gareth Wilson said: “I hope that a lot of people will take the time to complete this survey which will be hugely influential in shaping local policing services. We are working to re-design our organisations to ensure that we make the savings required of us, but also so that we are delivering policing that is right for local people. Evidence Based Policing will allow us to use evidence, such as the opinions of local people captured in the survey, to test ideas and shape our plans to get the right outcomes for the people we serve.”

This research is part of ‘the Better Policing Collaborative’, a multi university project which is being led by the University of Nottingham. There are seven projects running over three years; UCS will be looking into two of these, the first of which focusses on community safety, followed by the introduction of Masters and short courses in Evidence Based Policing.

The anonymous online survey can be completed by clicking here.