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October 2008
 
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Getting it Right!

Eighty percent of people who had contact with police were either satisfied or very satisfied with the level of service they received according to an independent survey conducted by Gravitas Research & Strategy Ltd earlier this year as part of the Service First project.

Seventy-nine percent of people who had contact with police at

the roadside were satisfied with the level of service.
Photograph NZ Police

The Citizens’ Satisfaction Survey 2008 asked 8300 randomly-selected people about their levels of trust and confidence in police. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed had a lot or quite a lot of trust and confidence. Those people who had contact with police over the last six months were also asked about their experiences of police service.

Of those respondents who had had contact with police 89 percent agreed or strongly agreed that police staff were competent and 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they were treated fairly.

Levels of satisfaction were consistent across all districts and Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls, sponsor of the Service First Project, says he is very pleased with the results of the initial survey.

“People told us some of the key things that influenced their levels of satisfaction were the positive attitude of police staff, that police showed interest and concern and that they did everything they could for people.”

Overall the results compared very favourably with the results of Kiwis Count in which 68 percent of people recorded satisfaction with New Zealand public services. Kiwis Count is a similar survey that the State Services Commission conducted last year to ask New Zealanders about their perceptions and experiences of public services. The police survey used the core questions from Kiwis Count.

“It is very pleasing that our police-specific survey has shown a higher level of satisfaction and reflects well on the way we are dealing with people.

“It is especially significant that often we have contact with people during stressful periods, some of them are being given infringement notices or are being dealt with as offenders; these are difficult situations in which to ensure someone has a positive experience, yet obviously many people end up being satisfied with the encounter.”

Overall 79 percent of people who had contact with police at the roadside were satisfied with the level of service they received.

The survey is just one part of a long-term programme to ensure the same levels of quality service are being delivered across the organisation regardless of where or how the service is being provided.

“This survey will be run annually and it gives us a benchmark by which to measure our service performance as well as an insight into the public’s expectations of us,” says Grant.

The survey uses a standardised set of questions called the Common Measurements Tool (CMT). This is part of the New Zealanders’ Experience research programme that the State Services Commission (SSC) is running to understand service across all government agencies.

Police has piloted the questions from the CMT. In the future other agencies will be able to use the same questions to provide a common approach to measuring satisfaction with all government services.

The New Zealanders’ Experience research identified the six factors that have the greatest impact on people’s satisfaction with public services. Those drivers are:

  • The service experience met your expectations
  • Staff were competent
  • Staff kept their promises
  • You were treated fairly
  • Your individual circumstances were taken into account
  • It’s an example of good value for tax dollars spent.

NZ Police has taken these six factors and the CMT and incorporated them into its Service First programme.

A range of programmes are already in place to look at specific areas of police service and public interaction. These include staff interactions at front counters, on the telephone and at the roadside.

Pilot sites in Auckland City, Tasman and Central Districts are trialling new initiatives and providing additional training to staff. Southern and Northern Communications Centres, the Road Policing Group and the Police Infringement Bureau are also participating in the pilot.

For further information see the following link on the New Zealand Police Website

http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/2008/citizen-satisfaction-survey/index.html

New Zealanders’ Experience www.ssc.govt.nz/nzers-experience

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