Survey indicates need for more empathy
Monday, February 29 – Acting Commissioner of Police Alwin James challenged the church to be agents for positive change in their communities as he reflected on the high performance of his officers and reduction in crime figures in 2015 at the opening of Police Week on Saturday.
At the service held at the East End Seventh Day Adventist Church, James noted that the Force detection rate for 2015 was 48 percent with 651 of the 1361 crimes detected. A 48% detection rate is considered very high in most jurisdictions, he noted.
He further explained that the 1,361 reflected a 14% decrease, 222 less crimes, when compared to total crimes reported in 2014.
“In the breakdown, a total of 523 cases of acquisition crime were reported in 2015 and represents a 25% decrease over 2014. Robbery decreased by 38% (8 less victims); non-dwelling burglaries decreased by 48% (76 less victims) and motor vehicle related thefts decreased by 35% (39 less victims). Dwelling burglaries however increased by 5% (5 more victims) and other thefts increased by 18% (57 more victims),” The Acting Commissioner noted
He noted that there were 131 reports of serious assaults in 2015 and 26% of those were domestic assaults. “I would like to say here that a typical report of serious violence is one person, who knows another person, deciding to resolve a dispute over anything from a word misspoken to an unpaid loan, by inflicting serious bodily harm. Believe it or not, this culture of disrespect and disregard for another’s rights, opinion, property or choice has taken a firm root in our society and is strengthening,” he said.
The Acting Commissioner also revealed the results of a Victims’ Satisfaction Survey on officers’ performance and the level of service delivery showed there were far more positive comments than negative. 80 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the level of service. 75 percent shared a satisfactory level of confidence in the officers who dealt with them.
He noted that the RVIPF fell short in the area of communication. Persons expressed that we were generally poor at showing empathy, communicating the process and following up with victims of crime.
“Much of our unfavourable commentary generally is because we fail to empathize with our public. Now it would be unfortunate if this becomes the headline of any new stories because there is too much good news to report here today. I am simply laying the background for our improvements,” he said.
To bridge this gap, he indicated that the Force has already implemented the Neighbourhood Policing model in seven communities and this week will be launching a second Victims’ Satisfaction Survey to garner the views on the level service, support, respect and attention given by officers.
“This time, senior officers, that is Superintendents and Chief Inspectors, will conduct this survey of those who come into contact with our service and report their findings. The output should be closer supervision and informed directives, instruction by senior officer and greater level of accountability by responding officers. We have also included the necessary check and balances to ensure authenticity of the process,” he said.
The results of this survey will be also made public.