Supporting the Northumbria Police and Crime Plan 2021 - 2025

Design Futures

Collaborators Northumbria Police And Crime Commissioner

Abstract

We worked with the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, and her team on a digital consultation to inform Northumbria Police’s priorities for 2021 – 2025.

Method

Together, we explored a range of digital consultation methods and collaborated on a social media consultation to gather views from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Takeaways

The social media consultation reached over 30,000 people and the insights informed the development of the Northumbria Police and Crime Plan, 2021 – 2025.

As an elected official, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner oversees the police force in the Northumbria region, sets policing priorities and represents the views of their community.

In 2020, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness and her office asked Open Lab to support the development of the new Northumbria Police and Crime Plan 2021 -2025, which is a statutory requirement. Against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions, the Commissioner wanted to explore ways of reaching people in the Northumbria region digitally, to gather views to inform the plan. Through two online workshops we used collaborative digital ideation tools to explore a range of digital public consultation options and developed some key questions that the team wanted to ask the community with the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner team.

Building on research undertaken as part of Open Lab’s prior Let’s Talk Parks initiative, a joint decision was made to generate a series of social media provocations. These provocations would be created to elicit responses that would look ‘a little deeper’ at some of the underlying perceptions and attitudes towards the Northumbria Police and Crime Plan. Designed to complement the existing Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime campaign’s print communications and online survey, Emily Barker and Daniel Parry developed a suite of social media content to deliver these provocations and gather consultation responses. The social media activity reached over 30,000 people and prompted around 2500 engagements.

Open Lab created some provocative questions to be asked across social media channels.
Open Lab created some provocative questions to be asked across social media channels.

Responses to the social media provocations were analysed by Ben Cuthbertson at the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner team, for sentiment and theme. These views went on to inform the development of the Police and Crime Plan 2021 – 2025, which was launched in February 2021.

A separate set of activities were also planned in the form of the training and deployment of ‘community journalists’. Sourced from grassroots organisations, these journalists would conduct in-depth interviews with community members, generating rich qualitative data to inform the plan. Unfortunately, due to increased COVID restrictions, we were unable to proceed with this plan, but is something we are actively looking into for a later date. Rachel Pattinson is now exploring further collaborations with the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner team, such as working together through the EPSRC Centre for Digital Citizens