Members of the public are reminded that the National Task Force on Crime Prevention (NTFCP), through the Office of the Attorney General, is conducting a Citizens??? Satisfaction Survey on the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
This survey forms part of the accreditation process through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies for the RBPF.
Interviewers wearing identification badges from the Office of the Attorney General, will identify who they are, and state the purpose of the study when approaching the 18, 000 people being targeted.
The surveys will be conducted primarily on evenings and weekends when people are most likely to be at home, however, some will also take place during the day.
Senior Research Officer with the NTFCP, Kim Ramsay, explained the 40-minute questionnaire was seeking a range of responses related to the public???s contact with the police.
She explained the survey was designed to examine perceptions of the police???s respect for the public, their helpfulness, trustworthiness, job performance, knowledge of the job, professional appearance, demeanor and general attitude. In addition the public will be called on to give their suggestions on how lawmen can improve their profession and be more effective and efficient in their duties.
Ms. Ramsay explained that the island would be divided into four strata ??? St. Michael by itself because of its size; Christ Church and St. Philip; St. George, St. James and St. Thomas; St. Andrew, St. John, St. Lucy, St. Joseph and St. Peter.
She added enumeration districts in each area would be selected, and then 40 households within each enumeration district targeted for the survey. ???It is a multi-stage approach. When we choose the households then we would select persons from each household to conduct the survey; adults only,??? she said, noting youth on the block would also be targeted through focus groups.
Ms. Ramsay explained that the accreditation process for the Force was done triennially through a voluntary programme. ???The Royal Barbados Police Force does not have to be accredited, but they have chosen to be, which is good for the Force,??? she said.
She added that the international Commission inspected the particular law enforcement agency and looked at issues of efficiency in its practices and rated them in relation to international standards.
The Senior Research Officer stated that the survey was important, as it not only assisted the Force with its international accreditation, but also examined areas in its delivery of service which may need strengthening; looked at its weaknesses and strengths; assisted with developing policy, and examined its customer service.
???In addition, the public will be able to understand more of the work of the police force, and the police would be able to build a much needed relationship with the public,??? Ms. Ramsay said.
She added that being accredited also meant that the RBPF would be internationally recognised as a police force that upheld its standards, and stuck to its mission, and that there was transparency. ???It is essential that the police be aligned with some international agency to show that it is operating above board,??? she stressed.
However, she noted that the Government also needed feedback from the survey because it was important that it review the relationship between the citizens and the police force to determine how they could become more efficient, effective and customer friendly.