Ninety per cent of victims are satisfied with the way they are treated by Northamptonshire Police, according to an in-depth independent study published by the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice today.
The Annual Victims Experience Report, however, highlights a number of key areas which the Force needs to address in its continuing journey to improve the experiences of people after they have been targeted by criminals.
The report, commissioned by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and compiled by the University of Northampton’s Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) is based on surveys conducted across a broad demographic of almost 2,500 victims of burglary, vehicle crime, violence, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and hate crime.
Key findings from the report show that:
- 77% of victims remain satisfied with the overall service provided by Northamptonshire Police, although it is a fall of 7% on 2014-15;
- 90% of victims were satisfied with the way they were treated by police officers and staff;
- Victims of ASB report the lowest level of satisfaction with the overall police service at 71%, a 15% reduction on 2014-15. Being properly kept informed of progress is a particular issue for victims;
- Four in 10 victims are ‘repeat victims’, having experienced a similar crime or incident in the last 12 months, and this group is more likely to report ‘high’ impact of victimisation in their daily lives; and
- In addition, keeping victims informed of progress in their cases remains a “significant issue” with two-thirds (66%) expressing satisfaction, a drop from 74% in the previous reporting period.
A number of recommendations come out of the report, including the need to develop a long-term strategy to improve communication with victims at all points of the process.
When police do not attend incidents, evidence suggests this is a significant factor in influencing public satisfaction and more needs to be done to explain to victims why such a decision was taken and to reassure them it is being taken seriously.
Detective Super Intendant Steve Lingley, head of safeguarding at Northamptonshire Police, said:
“While the Force has a minimum monitoring requirement placed on it, we are going beyond this by going out to speak to more people than we have ever done before. We do this because we are committed to providing a better service.
“Naturally, these surveys set out areas for improvement, but by speaking to victims and gauging what they want we have an evidence base which allows us to shape better our future services and deliver our core aim, that of protecting people from harm.
“We will begin rolling out a second phase of the Protecting Vulnerable People training across the Force from this autumn. This will build on the training we provided in 2013-14 and addresses one of the main recommendations of this report.”
Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, added:
“This report was commissioned by my Office to ensure that we are listening to victims of crime and adapting as necessary in order to deliver the help and support that people need from their police and victims support services.
“Supporting victims of crime – who have entered the criminal justice system through no fault of their own – will be at the heart of everything I do as Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Victim Experience Report gives us valuable feedback as to what we need to do to better support people.
“I will be working hard with Chief Constable Simon Edens and his team to make sure we are listening to people’s concerns so that we can make progress in these areas.”