New system for face-to-face police meetings rolled out after successful trial

Hemel Hempstead PCSOs Abbi Symes and Jan Bakewell
Hemel Hempstead PCSOs Abbi Symes and Jan Bakewell
  • Police appointment-booking system to be rolled out to whole of county
  • Scheme was trialled in Dacorum and Stevenage
  • Meetings with businesses and individuals affected by crime less likely to be cancelled due to emergency

The success of a Dacorum trial testing an innovative police appointment-booking system has seen the scheme rolled out across Herts.

The project allows people and businesses who need to talk about a policing or crime issue to book a face-to-face meeting with officers.
Following trial periods in Dacorum and Stevenage, the county force has now put in place scheduled appointments in four district areas, which means that meetings are much less likely to be postponed or cancelled due to operational commitments or emergencies.

Each day police officers, who are not working as part of the emergency response team or on Safer Neighbourhood duties, are assigned to attend the appointments. 
In the past, appointments made often had to be cancelled or moved because an unforeseen incident or emergency meant that police officers were unable to attend.

Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “Improving customer care is high on my list of priorities in my Police and Crime Plan for Hertfordshire so I am delighted that the Constabulary is now offering scheduled appointments to people who need to speak to an officer in person.

“This is a big step forward in providing a level of customer care that is on a par with successful business organisations. The public of Hertfordshire deserve no less.

“I am looking forward to see this roll out across the rest of the county and for satisfaction levels to improve.”

Last year, as part of increased collaboration with neighbouring Beds and Cambs forces, police were able to introduce a new command and control system into the force control room, allowing diarised appointments to be made by call takers. 
The appointments hold all the information required by the officers attending – so they arrive at the meeting fully up to speed with the issues and any background information needed to help make informed decisions with the person they are meeting.

Chief Supt Owen Weatherill said: “While people are usually very understanding that emergencies take precedence, we know it can be very frustrating and disappointing for people, who are expecting a police officer to visit them, to be told they cannot make it.

“Now, if you live or run a business in Dacorum, and an officer needs to visit you, you will be able to book an appointment at a specific time.”

All urgent and priority incidents will continue to have the usual ‘emergency response’, with police attending the scene immediately and an officer speaking to the person who made the call at the time.

This is a big step forward in providing a level of customer care that is on a par with successful business organisations. The public of Hertfordshire deserve no less.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd

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