Norfolk trials library and police collaboration

Norfolk Constabulary is working with Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service to test a new way of helping residents access more police services in libraries.

The six month pilot scheme will involve staff signposting customers to police services and will enable library staff to help residents complete online self-reporting forms, such as enquiring about lost and found items.

Amid further budget cuts, Norfolk Constabulary hopes the savings achieved by closing its Police Public Enquiry Office (PEO) will help plug a funding of deficit of £5 million.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: "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.

“The vast majority of people contact us by telephone and we hope that the new improved website will assist those who are comfortable with self-service, but we still want to be able to provide the opportunity for face-to-face advice for the small number of people who prefer this approach.”

Margaret Dewsbury, chair of the council’s Communities Committee, 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.”

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