Engaging communities

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Being informative, keeping two-way conversations and being active within the community, including with partner organisations.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Neighbourhood policing

Engaging communities – guideline

Chief officers should work with police and crime commissioners to deliver and support neighbourhood policing and must ensure it is built on effective engagement and consultation with communities.

Essential elements include:

  • officers, staff and volunteers being responsible for and having a targeted visible presence in neighbourhoods
  • a clearly defined and transparent purpose for engagement activities
  • regular formal and informal contact with communities
  • working with partners (eg, by identifying communities and sharing arrangements for engagement)
  • making available information about local crime and policing issues to communities
  • engagement that is tailored to the needs and preferences of different communities
  • using engagement to identify local priorities and inform problem-solving
  • officers, staff and volunteers providing feedback and being accountable to communities
  • officers, staff and volunteers supporting communities, where appropriate, to be more active in the policing of their local areas
  • community engagement in neighbourhoods should: Provide an ongoing two-way dialogue between the police and the public
  • enable the police to develop a better understanding of communities and their needs, risks and threats

This guideline is underpinned by Section 34 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 which provides a legal requirement for chief officers to make arrangements to consult with the public in each neighbourhood, provide local information about crime and policing and hold regular public meetings.

Empirical evidence
Good
Practitioner evidence
Available