Open and Transparent Quality Mark 2016/17

OPCC commitment to engage the public

Public engagement aims to bring people and communities together to address issues of common importance, to solve shared problems, and to bring about positive social change.

It allows citizens to get involved in public issues so that leaders and decision makers better understand their perspectives, opinions, and concerns.

When done well it includes those members of the community whose voices have traditionally been left out of political and policy debates.

Moreover it:

  • helps people weigh a variety of perspectives and listen to each other’s views;
  • builds common understanding, manages differences and establishes direction for moving ahead on tough issues;
  • builds trust and improves communication between the public and leaders;
  • creates new opportunities for citizens to become involved in public problem solving and decision making.

In 2016 the PCC makes a commitment to improve engagement in three sections – external (with public/partners), internal (officers/staff), and stakeholder (politicians, local government organisations, third sector providers, health providers, criminal justice providers).

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has improved its external/public engagement each year.

In 2015 the engagement team found new ways to speak to the people of Devon and Cornwall, by both face to face and on-line methods.

We attended more events than ever, gave the public more opportunities to meet Tony Hogg face to face, invested in developing our on-line communities and significantly increased the number of people on our digital database who receive regular news updates.

In 2016 we will further develop this multi-layered approach to engagement.

We will continue to investigate the most appropriate and cost effective ways to engage people and communities and we will do this on a case by case basis so we can use the most appropriate and effective methods.

The OPCC has trialled the use of paid for promotion via social media and the evidence suggests that when it is used alongside more traditional methods of engagement is highly cost effective.

While there are no plans to increase the overall OPCC engagement budget in 2016-17 there are plans to invest more of that budget into digital engagement.

However, due to the significant cost of sending post, the use of large mail outs will be severely limited. If a person contacts the office and requires engagement material to be forward in printed format then that request will be met but, in most cases.

A full consultation and engagement strategy is currently being produced. It will be published here soon.

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