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Majority of citizens in Singapore believe more digital tools can improve police services, according to Accenture survey

Gap exists between citizen expectations and police use of digital tool.

Overview

SINGAPORE; November 20, 2014 – New research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has revealed that a large majority of citizens in Singapore (91 per cent) believe the expanded use of new and advanced digital tools will improve police services. Additionally, 84 percent of citizens in Singapore would like to see greater use of mobile apps as a communication tool between local police and citizens.

Singapore scored highest for use of digital tools by police forces with more than half (57 percent) of respondents saying their police force currently uses digital tools, followed by the Netherlands at 51 percent and the USA at 44 percent. However, despite a strong willingness by citizens in Singapore to interact with police via digital channels, the survey found citizen expectations (85 percent) exceed the level of digital services (57 percent) currently provided by police. In particular, the use of websites/information portals and mobile apps fall short of citizens’ expectations.

Specifically, citizens in Singapore are comfortable with police officers using: predictive technologies (96 percent), security cameras / CCTV (91 percent), wearable technologies such as body-worn cameras (81 percent) and mobile devices (94 percent). The Accenture Citizen Pulse Survey on Policing 2014 was conducted in August 2014 among 4,000 people in eight countries including Singapore (learn more Research and Insights and Infographic).

The majority of Singaporeans (91 percent) say they feel safe in their neighbourhood and rate their local police force as ‘effective’ (92 percent), which were the highest percentiles recorded across the eight countries studied.

The study revealed citizens in Singapore expect digital technology to improve almost all areas of police services, including solving crime (93 percent), preventing crime (91 percent) and increasing overall police effectiveness (95 percent). A majority of respondents (83 percent) said they are more willing to engage with the police via social media than they were a year ago, and 90 percent would use a mobile app if available to obtain information about or to report crimes to police.

A majority of citizens (84 percent) believe the public should play a role in crime reporting, and over three-quarters (77 percent) said the public should participate in neighbourhood watch programmes. However, despite strong support for greater use of new technologies, traditional community policing methods still remain important, with a majority (94%) of respondents who don’t have a specific community or neighbourhood contact within their local police force saying they would like one.

“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 reduction by helping identify where crime might occur and how best to deploy policing resources,” said Ng Wee Wei, Managing Director of Accenture’s Health & Public Safety business in Singapore. “It also shows that while nearly all citizens want to actively help police prevent, detect and fight crime, there is a gap between what digital tools citizens expect police to use, and what police actually use.”

About the Survey

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.

Learn more about Accenture’s global Defense & Public Safety Industry and Delivering Public Service for the Future.

About Accenture

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.