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Scottish Policing Performance Framework

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1 Service Response

This area of policing relates to the quality of service provided by forces in dealing with the public. It covers aspects of forces' engagement with the public including initial contact, responding to incidents and providing feedback. It also relates to the public's overall confidence in policing.

1.1 Complaints about police officers and police staff

The number of complaints and allegations made against the police gives an indication of the level of dissatisfaction of users in relation to their contact with police officers and police staff, and demonstrates action being taken by the police forces in response to these incidents.

More detailed statistics in relation to Police complaints are available from the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland website at: http://www.pcc-scotland.org/.

Table 1.1.1: Total number of complaints cases received

Force 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Rate per 10,000
population, 2011-12
Central 198 264 243 211 285 9.6
Dumfries & Galloway 139 183 163 162 157 10.6
Fife 309 410 340 291 330 9.0
Grampian - - 631 641 592 10.7
Lothian & Borders 788 991 899 843 884 9.2
Northern 165 159 273 256 300 10.3
Strathclyde - - 1,661 1,456 1,365 6.1
Tayside - - 487 470 461 11.4
Scotland - - 4,697 4,330 4,374 8.3

Table 1.1.2: Number of closed allegations

Force On duty Off duty
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 158 268 378 311 440 9 39 21 19 20
Dumfries & Galloway 78 164 135 199 127 2 15 9 7 6
Fife 188 390 397 520 540 12 24 13 19 29
Grampian - - 951 779 887 - - 30 17 12
Lothian & Borders 585 946 1,329 1,215 1,457 40 116 62 55 64
Northern - - 482 436 596 - - 11 15 12
Strathclyde - - 2,782 2,553 1,894 - - 182 244 189
Tayside - - 544 609 686 - - 30 38 37
Scotland - - 6,998 6,622 6,627 - - 358 414 369

Table 1.1.3: Percentage of closed allegations where action has been taken

Force 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 14 19 21 27 33
Dumfries & Galloway 79 59 22 21 18
Fife 22 16 10 15 18
Grampian - - 24 19 21
Lothian & Borders 6 11 17 12 16
Northern - - 12 15 18
Strathclyde - - 14 15 17
Tayside - - 11 15 16
Scotland - - 16 16 18

Please note that one complaint could contain multiple allegations. The current performance indicator does not afford more detailed analysis of the actual number of all allegations, focusing on closed allegations only.

The total number of complaint cases received in 2011-12 is slightly higher than in 2010-11. Strathclyde is the only force that received less than the average of 8.3 complaints per 10,000 population. There is a known issue with under-recording of complaints by Strathclyde Police1, which may be affecting the number of complaints given in Table 1.1.1, however steps have already been undertaken to address the points made in the Best Value Audit and Inspection report.

1.2 Quality of service complaints

Complaints from the public may be related to the service provided or policies followed by the force rather than the conduct of police officers or police staff. Quality of service complaints relate to policing policy, practice or procedure; policing presence, time of response and type of response and failure to take action or a lack of satisfaction with the action taken.

More detailed statistics in relation to Police complaints are available from the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland website at: http://www.pcc-scotland.org/.

Table 1.2.1: Number of quality of service closed allegations contained within complaint cases

Force 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Rate per 10,000
population, 2011-12
Central 52 79 65 26 81 2.7
Dumfries & Galloway 63 105 90 82 98 6.6
Fife 50 74 70 110 122 3.3
Grampian - - 285 182 234 4.2
Lothian & Borders 148 129 142 97 153 1.6
Northern 21 10 61 99 76 2.6
Strathclyde - - 239 263 227 1.0
Tayside - - 63 55 86 2.1
Scotland - - 1,015 914 1,077 2.0

The number of quality of service closed allegations increased by 18 per cent between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

1.3 User satisfaction with service provided

Seven out of the eight police forces in Scotland run user satisfaction surveys to measure the level of satisfaction that the public experience in relation to their contact with the police and the subsequent service provided by the force.

While the user satisfaction surveys contain agreed set questions, the method, question order and presentation of the survey is at the discretion of forces. This can therefore significantly change the interpretation of the questions and therefore the responses. As a result of this, the data from the surveys should not be used to carry out comparisons between forces.

The figures given in Table 1.3.1 and Table 1.3.2 give a high-level summary of the results of these surveys. More detailed data are available in the supplementary tables.

Table 1.3.1: Number of surveys issued and percentage returned

Force Number of Surveys Issued Return Rate (%)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 1,240 1,318 1,835 2,391 1,485 21 33 34 29 29
Dumfries & Galloway 800 829 1,254 1,400 1,400 51 52 37 35 37
Fife 2,400 2,740 2,280 1,900 1,855 22 24 21 24 21
Grampian1 403 2,617 2,885 2,716 2,635 100 93 93 97 99
Lothian & Borders 2,400 3,464 3,600 3,600 3,600 37 33 52 49 40
Northern2 - - - - - - - - - -
Strathclyde3 3,799 4,372 1,918 816 789 17 20 75 77 83
Tayside 3,600 3,600 4,800 3,600 3,600 27 29 30 37 35
Scotland - - - - - - - - - -

1. Grampian Police has conducted telephone surveys for all years.

2. Northern Constabulary does not run a user satisfaction survey.

3. Strathclyde Police started conducting telephone surveys in 2009-10, which has resulted in less surveys being issued and a higher return rate.

Table 1.3.2: Percentage of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the overall way the police dealt with the incident

Force Satisfied1 Dissatisfied2
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 73 79 77 75 77 13 9 12 12 11
Dumfries & Galloway 84 83 84 89 86 4 7 8 4 4
Fife 73 73 75 76 73 15 12 12 11 14
Grampian 77 86 87 88 90 16 8 7 7 5
Lothian & Borders 81 77 76 75 77 19 12 13 13 12
Northern - - - - - - - - - -
Strathclyde 58 72 82 86 72 25 18 11 8 4
Tayside 89 80 85 82 82 7 8 6 7 7
Scotland - - - - - - - - - -

1. The response 'Satisfied' is made up of those who answered the question with the response 'Very Satisfied' or 'Fairly Satisfied'.

2. The response 'Dissatisfied' is made up of those who answered the question with the response 'Very Dissatisfied' or 'Fairly Dissatisfied'. Please note that the figures in Table 1.3.2 do not include responses of 'Neither satisfied or dissatisfied', so the percentages will not add up to 100 per cent. Percentages are calculated using the number of valid responses, which excludes those that did not respond to the question.

Chart 1.3.1: Percentage satisfied with the overall way that the police dealt with the incident, by police force1 and year

Chart 1.3.1: Percentage satisfied with the overall way that the police dealt with the incident, by police force1 and year

1. Northern Constabulary does not run a user satisfaction survey, so has not been included in Chart 1.3.1.

The percentage of people surveyed who expressed satisfaction with the overall way that the police dealt with the incident showed small changes only between 2010-11 and 2011-12 in six of the seven forces that undertake user satisfaction surveys. The exception was Strathclyde, where the percentage satisfied fell from 86 per cent in 2010-11 to 72 per cent in 2011-12, although this was due more to an increase in people being neither satisfied or dissatisfied rather than an increase in dissatisfaction.

1.4 Public confidence in the police

The data for this indicator are taken from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS). Respondents were asked how confident they were in their local police force's ability to undertake specific aspects of their work, principally relating to detecting, investigating and preventing crime.

More detailed data on public attitudes towards the police and other crime and justice issues is available in the Scottish Government Scottish Crime and Justice Survey.

Please note that the most recent SCJS results are from 2010-11, as the survey is now being carried out biennially, with the next survey covering financial year 2012-13.

Table 1.4.1: Percentage of respondents to the 2010-11 SCJS who are confident in the police to:

Force Prevent crime Respond quickly to appropriate calls
and information from the public
Deal with incidents as they occur Investigate incidents after they occur Solve crime Catch criminals
Central 42 63 62 70 60 55
Dumfries & Galloway 56 64 67 74 66 62
Fife 49 64 67 72 65 61
Grampian 52 57 58 69 65 58
Lothian & Borders 49 61 66 71 62 59
Northern 58 70 73 77 68 67
Strathclyde 49 59 64 69 63 61
Tayside 51 65 71 72 65 59
Scotland 50 61 65 71 64 60

Table 1.4.2: Percentage of respondents from all forces who are confident in the police to:

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Prevent crime 46 48 50
Respond quickly to appropriate calls and information from the public 54 58 61
Deal with incidents as they occur 58 61 65
Investigate incidents after they occur 64 68 71
Solve crime 57 60 64
Catch criminals 55 57 60

Public confidence in the police, as measured by the SCJS, has improved between 2008-09 and 2010-11 in each of the six indicators given in Table 1.4.2.

1.5 Percentage of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds

The time taken to answer 999 calls is a useful measure of the quality of service that forces provide in emergency situations.

Table 1.5.1: Percentage of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds

Force 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Number of 999 calls, 2011-12
Central 89 93 92 95 94 29,637
Dumfries & Galloway 96 96 96 98 99 11,614
Fife1 96 96 91 92 93 42,834
Grampian 92 91 96 98 99 51,619
Lothian & Borders 91 95 95 96 96 118,171
Northern 85 87 86 87 86 19,150
Strathclyde 92 94 96 95 96 300,921
Tayside 88 93 93 91 88 50,655
Scotland 91 94 95 95 95 624,601

1. The 2011-12 figures for Fife Constabulary are for the period 1/4/2011 to 21/3/2012 - data are not available for the remainder of the year due to an upgrade to their telephone system on 22/3/2012.

Chart 1.5.1: Percentage of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds, by police force and year

Chart 1.5.1: Percentage of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds, by police force and year

The percentage of 999 calls answered within 10 seconds remained at 95 per cent for the third straight year in 2011-12, with six of the eight forces answering more than 90 per cent of 999 calls within 10 seconds.

1.6 Time taken to respond to emergency response calls

Time is often critical in emergency situations, so the time taken to respond to emergency calls is another useful measure of the quality of service provided by the police.

Table 1.6.1: Number of emergency response incidents, percentage responded to within target time and average response time

Force Number of emergency response incidents Per cent responded to within target time1 Average response time (seconds)
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 8,714 8,798 9,421 87 85 83 455 462 507
Dumfries & Galloway 935 847 802 75 78 82 523 483 506
Fife2 34,129 19,697 1,646 90 - - 437 409 357
Grampian 4,712 4,711 4,247 92 93 95 380 368 323
Lothian & Borders3 24,353 22,383 22,504 85 87 87 528 511 514
Northern4 - - 3,116 - - 68 - - 921
Strathclyde 17,077 14,269 12,213 - - - 927 822 777
Tayside5 45,662 49,782 29,446 67 63 58 961 1,025 1,079
Scotland - - 83,395 - - - - - -

1. Strathclyde Police do not have a force target time and therefore are unable to report on this indicator.

2. From September 2010 onwards Fife Constabulary recorded only Grade 1 calls as emergency response incidents, prior to this they recorded both Grade 1 and 2 calls as emergency response incidents. In addition, from September 2010 onwards Fife Constabulary no longer have a target response time for emergency response incidents.

3. The figures for Lothian & Borders Police have been revised for all years to include all Grade 1 calls (the 2010-11 report gave figures for those incidents classified as '999' and '999 mobile' only).

4. The emergency response incident figure for Northern Constabulary is for urban calls only.

5. Tayside Police changed their call grading process at the start of 2011-12, resulting in fewer calls being classified as emergency response incidents.

Comparisons of the number of emergency response incidents between forces are distorted due to the differences in ICT (Information and Computer Technology) systems and lack of common standards. Work is ongoing to address these issues.

Changes in the average time taken to respond to an emergency incident between years are not necessarily comparable, as these are affected by external factors like roadworks and congestion. The overriding principle for all officers attending an emergency response incident is that their own and the safety of the public is paramount.

1.7 Handling of non-emergency calls

In addition to dealing with emergency calls, the police forces also deal with more routine enquiries. The data in Table 1.7.1 provides measures of both the volume of calls handled and the quality of service provided in response to these calls.

Table 1.7.1: Number of non-emergency telephone calls1 and proportion answered within 40 seconds

Force Number of non-emergency telephone calls Per cent of calls answered within 40 seconds2
2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Central 297,134 286,594 282,110 269,281 91 91 89 90
Dumfries & Galloway 176,142 167,932 157,532 151,244 93 93 95 94
Fife 390,842 322,765 313,889 292,617 - 86 86 90
Grampian 372,340 355,053 352,019 360,283 84 91 92 90
Lothian & Borders 727,660 705,633 656,731 644,349 97 98 98 98
Northern 446,216 445,335 389,291 396,069 - 92 93 90
Strathclyde3 1,568,513 1,485,864 1,369,983 1,098,145 84 87 86 94
Tayside 322,069 267,974 254,441 246,108 - 89 89 84
Scotland 4,300,916 4,037,150 3,775,996 3,458,096 - 90 90 92

1. Due to system limitations some forces are unable to distinguish between calls generated internally and those generated externally. Therefore the number of non-emergency calls will represent more than just those received from the public.

2. Some forces were unable to provide retrospective data for 2008-09 on this indicator.

3. Changes to Strathclyde Police telephony systems from early March 2011 have resulted in over 200,000 local calls not being included in their figures. This explains a large part of the fall in the number of non-emergency telephone calls for Strathclyde.

Chart 1.7.1: Percentage of non-emergency telephone calls answered within 40 seconds

Chart 1.7.1: Percentage of non-emergency telephone calls answered within 40 seconds

The 3.46 million non-emergency calls received by forces in 2011-12 was eight per cent fewer than in 2010-11 and 20 per cent fewer than the 4.30 million answered in 2008-09. Seven out of the eight forces answered at least 90 per cent of non-emergency calls within 40 seconds in 2011-12.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) involves the use of automated technology to pick up telephone calls and is used to handle large call volumes. The caller can be given the option to wait in the queue, choose an automated service, or request a callback. Strathclyde and Lothian & Borders use an IVR system for non- emergency calls. The use of the IVR can lead to increased levels of performance.