Belfast Telegraph

PSNI unveils accountability plans

Feedback from the public on how police treated them could make or break officers' promotion hopes under new plans for increasing accountability in the PSNI.

Officers intend to phone people affected by crime and ask them to assess the policeman or woman who dealt with their case - data which will then be relied upon in future job interviews.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott revealed the initiative as he launched a series of police commitments to the public.

The four-page pledge is being sent to 750,000 homes across Northern Ireland this week outlining what people can expect from the PSNI.

It includes promises over response times, keeping people updated with the progress of investigations and identifies key community priorities, such as tackling anti-social behaviour.

The new officer appraisal system, which will see around 9,000 people phoned, will come into operation this autumn.

"When people want to move on in their career, whether that's a promotion or anything else, one of the fundamental questions they will be asked is - what did the public think of you?" explained Mr Baggott.

"So like every other major £1.2 billion organisation that relies upon confidence to succeed, we are no different, we're no different to a commercial company except our business is far more difficult and has far more implications for Northern Ireland."

Mr Baggott said while many of the pledges outlined are already being delivered by officers, the commitments would ensure consistency.

"I think what we haven't had is consistency so the idea that you get the same service in Strabane as you would in Derry as you would in Bangor is very important to me because we've got to prove we're impartial," he added.

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