My experience as an IAG memberAs we mark National Volunteers' Week, two of our community advisors give an insight into their work with Norfolk Police as members of the Independent Advisory Group:
"Working with the Independent Advisory Group has been an eye-opening and invaluable experience that I will never forget. I have worked with a variety of wonderful people from a plethora of communities and backgrounds - an experience I believe I would never have had if not given this opportunity. I have enjoyed sitting on the Constabulary’s Independent Stop Search Scrutiny Panel, as well as being involved in a new social media project. A service that is now over-stretched and under-budgeted, policing needs to carefully put first what is most important to them. I truly believe that Norfolk Constabulary put their communities first and, with help from the IAG, truly value the opinions and listen to the voices of their citizens. I am sad to leave the IAG but I believe my experience with the group will help me extensively whilst I pursue my new opportunity with the Special Constabulary. I hope one day I will be fortunate enough to work with the IAG again."
"As an IAG member, I have been involved with a project that has been looking at the variety of ‘non police’ calls that are taken on the non-emergency (101) number of the control room. Along with another IAG member, we looked at the main queries that were fielded (including lost dogs, abandoned cars, non-working traffic lights, etc). Having established the five most common queries, we used our community and personal contacts to undertake a ‘straw poll’ across a diverse range of community members and groups to see who people thought they would contact if faced with five scenarios. This was to roughly establish whether people knew the agencies responsible for these areas, or were contacting the police as their number is known, and available 24 hours.
Further to this, as part of the THRIVE project (assessing threat, risk and vulnerability), I listened to samples of non-emergency calls that had been taken using an assessment system where the call taker may decide that it is not necessary for the police to attend. I was asked to feedback on whether I thought the call had been dealt with appropriately by the call taker and whether vulnerability had been assessed. A proportion of the calls had been ‘redirected’ as they were assessed as requiring action by another agency. Although understanding the need for the appropriate agency to deal with issues under their control, I did raise the point that members of the public do not call the police lightly and this may be their only police contact. Hence the importance of how the redirection of the call is handled, to encourage community members to act responsibly and continue to report such issues (to the correct agency) whilst not undermining confidence in this police point of contact. My comments were acknowledged and I understand the training in using the THRIVE system addresses these issues."
A big thank you to all our Independent Advisory Group members who play a vital role in shaping the policing services delivered in Norfolk.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Independent Advisory Group, you can find more information on our Community Involvement pages.