While central communications units are responsible for broadcasting calls from the public for assistance to police cars; these units have no authority over those police cars. And while local police commands are responsible for police deployment, they have no ready capability to communicate with their police cars. The report also found that Local police management have limited contemporaneous knowledge of what their response resources are doing, and little useful management information that can tell them what they have done over prior periods. Current systems of response fail to distinguish adequately between calls of various types. All tend to be allocated for response by a police car, even where the caller’s needs may be equally well met by alternatives which are less resource intensive.
The NSW Police Service has begun to address these limitations. But it understands that more needs to be done before the service can realise improvements in response performance, and evidence levels of efficiency and effectiveness. In particular, the NSW Police Service should: formulate a strategy for improving response overall, before it commits itself to major new investments in this area and, as part of this strategy it should clarify accountabilities throughout the response “system” and develop a framework of indicators and standards to help it (and the public) monitor response performance.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #47 - released 10 March 1998