LONDON; Dec. 10, 2014 – New research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has revealed that a large majority of U.K citizens (75 percent) believe the expanded use of new and advanced digital tools will improve police services. Specifically, citizens in the U.K. are comfortable with police officers using: predictive technologies (90 percent), security cameras / CCTV (89 percent), wearable technologies such as body-worn cameras (87 percent) and mobile devices (94 percent).
Despite a strong willingness by citizens in the U.K.to interact with police via digital channels, the survey found citizen expectations (76 percent) exceed the level of digital services (38 percent) currently provided by police. In particular, the use of websites/information portals and mobile apps fall short of citizens’ expectations. The Accenture Citizen Pulse Survey on Policing 2014 was conducted in August 2014 among 4,000 people in eight countries including the U.K. (learn more Research and Insights and Infographic).
The study also revealed U.K. citizens in expect digital technology to improve almost all areas of police services, including investigating crime and catching criminals (88 percent), preventing crime (77 percent) and increasing overall police effectiveness (85 percent). Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said they are more willing to engage with the police via social media than they were a year ago, and 85 percent would use a mobile app if available to obtain information about or to report crimes to police.
A majority of citizens from the U.K. (83 percent) believe the public should play a role in crime reporting, and 65 percent said they would like more interaction with their local police force. Additionally, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of respondents who wanted more interaction with the police said that interaction should be digital (such as social media, e-mail or websites), either instead of or in addition to face-to-face contact.
Despite strong support for greater use of new technologies, traditional community policing methods still remain important, with a majority (79 percent) of respondents who don’t have a specific community or neighborhood contact within their local police force saying they would like to have one.The majority of British respondents (83 percent) say they feel safe in their neighborhood and rate their local police force as ‘effective’ (72 percent).
“This survey shows that citizens believe that digital tools – such as mobile devices and wearable cameras – together with predictive analytics-based technologies can have a positive impact on crime by helping identify where crime might occur and how best to deploy police,” said James Slessor, Managing Director of Accenture’s global Public Safety business. “It also shows that while nearly all citizens want to actively help police prevent, detect and fight crime but a gap exists between what digital tools citizens expect police to use, and what police actually use.”
The 2014 online citizen survey included 4,000 respondents (global margin of error ±1.55), across eight countries, with approximately 500 respondents each from Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States (margin of error ±4.38 per country). The survey age categories represented include 30 percent between 18 years and 34 years of age 37 percent between 35 and 54 years of age and 32 percent who were more than 55 years old. Fifty-one percent of respondents were female and 49 percent were male when the survey was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland in August 2014.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com