Customer Story: Police Service of Northern Ireland

'screenshot of 'Police Service of Northern Ireland
'screenshot of 'Police Service of Northern Ireland

Involving the public in police priorities

The Police Service of Northern Ireland sought views from the public on their 2018 Local Policing Review.

They launched a public consultation to explore how the police could best meet public demand and deliver the most effective local policing in times of reducing budgets, encouraging citizens to learn about which issues the police are dealing with, and help to prioritise them.


A shift in the nature of police work

Crime in Northern Ireland has changed in the last ten years. Low-level crime such as criminal damage and theft has decreased, however police now deal with much more complex crimes including sexual exploitation and cyber crime.

Priority Simulator allowed people to be in charge of decisions, giving control to the public in budget decisions.

People were allocated 100 points to ‘spend’ across different local policing areas including ‘emergency and priority response’, ‘community policing’ and ‘criminal justice investigations’. Each section was then broken down further to allow people to get to the granular detail of how they’d prioritise police services.


Positive feedback from citizens

People enjoyed using the simulator and liked seeing the consequences for their decisions in real-time to see exactly how each point allocated would affect their local community.

The simple layout and ability to include as much or as little detail as needed throughout the consultation was useful and kept people engaged with the process. With over 4,000 submissions in total, the exercise proved a triumph in public engagement.


We needed those answering the consultation to have an understanding of the demands PSNI face and how challenging it is to balance the resource across the various demands on local policing. The simulator was an ideal way of doing this, it was interactive and not only did we receive feedback, we received feedback which was more informed.

Inspector, Police Service of Northern Ireland

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