Customer story: Police Scotland

Community Engagement Process
'screenshot of 'Police Scotland
'screenshot of 'Police Scotland

Essential engagement

Police Scotland continually assesses how their work impacts the communities they serve. They know that "understanding the views and priorities of Scotland's diverse communities is fundamental" to their work. It's therefore crucial that they regularly review ways to improve how they engage with these communities. Since 2019, they've been using the Citizen Space citizen engagement platform to do just that - ensuring that they provide accessible opportunities for feedback from the people they serve. In fact, Police Scotland's move to Citizen Space saw them increase engagement by more than 500%.

The annual Your Police Survey is a key component of this approach. Hosted using Citizen Space, the survey is central to Police Scotland's aim to "listen, understand, and take action" on the needs of its communities. This means that getting the right quantity and quality of data from the survey is essential.

Created with accessibility in mind right from the very start, Citizen Space has long been an indispensable tool for achieving these goals - and the addition of Citizen Space Geospatial has enabled organisations such as Police Scotland to gain even greater insight.

Pinpointing potential problems

The Your Police Survey uses a mix of multiple choice and open response questions to canvas the views of the people of Scotland on policing in their local area. This provides Police Scotland with invaluable feedback, but when it comes to fully understanding certain issues, they need to be able to pinpoint exactly where a respondent is talking about.

Using Citizen Space Geospatial, Police Scotland have incorporated an easy-to-understand map element into the survey. This clearly designed, interactive feature allows users to simply drag and drop pins to represent places in their local area where they feel less safe. The use of this visual element lowers barriers to participation: asking respondents to mark a location on a map is a more sensitive way of asking them to pinpoint issues than requesting that they revisit a potentially traumatic incident in detail. A less intrusive approach naturally leads to greater willingness to participate and therefore more actionable data.

The use of the map also makes it quick and easy for respondents - there's no need to struggle with describing a certain location - while follow up questions enable them to add more detail should they wish. In addition, the visual element gives Police Scotland rich data that can be effortlessly compiled to help identify what kind of response is needed.

Seeing the bigger picture

Getting the right feedback is essential to Police Scotland's work and to ensuring consent for that work from the people of Scotland. Citizen Space's ability to power next-generation engagement has enhanced both the ways in which the organisation is able to gain this feedback and the quality of the data it receives.

The addition of Citizen Space Geospatial enables them to take action even more efficiently - and to really see the bigger picture.

Everybody who’s used Citizen Space within Police Scotland loves it.

Davina Fereday, Research and Insight Manager, Police Scotland

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