Laura Sharman 24 August 2016

Council library staff trained to help people file police reports

Library staff at Norfolk County Council will be helping people access police services as part of a six month pilot scheme.

The trial will see library staff help residents to complete online self-reporting forms, such as enquiring about lost and found items.

Norfolk Constabulary hopes the savings achieved by closing its Police Public Enquiry Office (PEO) will help plug a funding of deficit of £5m.

Chair of the council’s Communities Committee, Margaret Dewsbury, said: ‘This trial will be a natural extension of the way libraries already help and support people to access a very wide range of public services and as part of its role as a trusted, one-stop source of information in local communities.

‘It’s also a great example of the way we can help to join up public services and increase their efficiency in these times of austerity.’

Members of the public using the library for a police related matter will be asked to complete a satisfaction survey. The results of the project will be presented the council and chief officers after the six month trail to assess if the new partnership has been a success.

Chief constable Simon Bailey added: ‘The purpose of this pilot is to retain our public enquiry service in a more efficient, collaborative way. We are keen to retain such a service despite facing further significant budget reductions to funding.’

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