Police departments can do more to improve service delivery according to a recent Accenture survey of 2,000 U.S. citizens. Specifically, the survey found that 91 percent of respondents said they feel safe in their neighborhoods but at the same time 70 percent of those same respondents said they also believe that police could improve their services through greater use of technology.
Over 90 percent of respondents said they would like to see the local police provide new ways to report crime. increase information sharing on police services, and collaborate with citizens through community policing programs. 86 percent said they would also like to see more police services online.
The survey findings are being released by Accenture to coincide with a public safety summit hosted by Accenture in collaboration with Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center taking place this weekend at Harvard University.
Respondents between 18 and 34 years old were more likely than older respondents to say that new technologies have the potential to increase police effectiveness — cited by 76 percent of the younger respondents, versus 60 percent of those aged over 55 years.
The survey, similar to previous studies undertaken by Accenture in 2014 and 2012, identified a strong desire among citizens to play a greater role in community policing. Almost all respondents (95 percent) said they are willing to collaborate with their local police, and two-thirds (67 percent) said they would anonymously report crime and public safety incidents to police using digital communications channels. More than half of citizens (52 percent) said they would participate in a community policing program, such as neighborhood watch.
“Now more than ever, citizens want their local police force to involve them in efforts to reduce crime in their neighborhoods by providing more opportunities for engagement, increased digital services, and a local leadership vision that can drive collaboration and increase trust between police and their communities,” said Jody Weis, a director with Accenture Police Services.