Opinion Research Services (ORS) works mainly for the public sector including provision of a wide range of research and consultation services for police forces across the UK.
In particular, ORS is an approved supplier of research services under the Police National Framework Contract for Public Opinion Polling and Staff Surveys.
Our broad experience of both quantitative and qualitative methods enables us to provide research services to inform the full range of police service consultation requirements, including:
- Residents’ surveys
- National Indicator surveys such as APACS and NI21 surveys
- Citizens’ Panels
- Business surveys and consultation
- Benchmarking comparisons with the British Crime Survey
- Customer satisfaction with contact centres – both 999 and non-emergency contacts (COMCEN, PEC and SDOs)
- Mystery shopper evaluation of front of house officers
- Police communications with hard-to-reach sections of the population
- Implementation of Stop-and-Search powers
- Employee surveys – using both quantitative and qualitative methods
- Forums and focus groups with business, statutory and voluntary sectors
- Budgetary planning consultations
Approved Framework Contracts
Thames Valley Police Framework for APACS
ORS was approved by Thames Valley Police as one of the seven selected providers for delivering the Analysis of Policing and Community Safety (APACS) telephone surveys. The tender evaluation for the contract included a detailed site visit and audit of our systems to ensure that the survey would be conducted with the necessary rigour for providing the data quality and security required by the Home Office and individual Police Forces.
ORS was appointed to a Home Office framework contract for the provision of Criminal Justice research. Under this contract we provide research support to all criminal justice agencies to enable improved services to the public. Areas of research have included work with victims and witnesses, public confidence in the Criminal Justice System, future policy development and neighbourhood agreements.
Analysis of Policing and Community Safety Framework (APACS)
ORS has extensive experience of delivering Analysis of Policing and Community Safety (APACS) telephone surveys (and the earlier PPAF and ASB interviews). We also provide a range of supporting services including completion of the associated Home Office Returns for the range of required user groups:
- Victims of burglary
- Victims of road traffic collisions
- Victims of violent crime
- Victims of vehicle crime
- Victims of racist incidents
- Victims of anti-social behaviour
Below are some examples of some of the forces we have worked with.
ORS was appointed by Merseyside Police to undertake their PPAF and ASB surveys. Under this 3 year contract, we undertook over 11,000 interviews each year, working closely with the force to provide additional services such as a full sample exclusion service, a text line for the hard of hearing, extensive monthly reporting include rolling data, and a safety line for victims that feel threatened during the interview process.
ORS has worked with Dorset Police since 2005 providing PPAF, ASB and now APACS surveys both as postal surveys and now as telephone interviews. Our longstanding relationship, and detailed understanding of the Force and Home Office requirements, has meant that ORS was successfully reappointed in 2009 when the contract was re-tendered.
South Wales Police
ORS was appointed to provide PPAF and ASB services to South Wales Police. In addition, we provided other services such as completion of Home Office returns, undertaking qualitative research with victims and completing a number of employee surveys across the Force.
Gwent Police commissioned ORS to provide PPAF and ASB services to victims of crimes with their areas for a period of two years. During this period, ORS also undertook a wide range of other pieces of work including detailed processing and analysis of data from their schools awareness programme.
Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour
West Mercia Police Force
ORS was appointed to carry out the annual Crime and Safety Partnership survey about residents' fear of crime and their perceptions of the police. ORS has worked with the Force to develop a quarterly approach with complex sampling to improve the robustness and timeliness of results. Questionnaires are sent to over 57,000 residents and the survey is also on-line. There is a separate youth survey targeted at residents aged 11-16.
ORS undertakes the Community Safety Survey for Dorset Police. This annual postal survey of residents across the region requires complex sampling and uses CACI Acorn profiling information to stratify the survey at a local area level. This improves the respresetativeness of the achieved sample in order to ensure that the new statutory requirements for NI 21 are achieved.
South Wales Criminal Justice Board
ORS has worked closely with the South Wales Criminal Justice Board (and also the South Wales Police) to establish and develop an important Citizens’ Panel that is representative of the South Wales population. As well as setting up the panel of 1,500 residents, we were also responsible for delivery of regular postal surveys and achieved very good survey response rates of up to 70% on panel consultations.
ORS has been commissioned to design and implement an innovative programme of monitoring and evaluation of a pilot grass-roots ASB initiative by Gloucestershire Police. The work will include the design of a semi-structured survey for use by local officers, training for the staff involved and then analysis and reporting of results.
Suffolk County Council
ORS undertook 1,500 in home face to face interviews, using CAPI technology, to boost the results from the British Crime survey on selected key questions for Suffolk County. We had to undertake the strict Home Office methodology, with the fieldwork being undertaken in a 4 week window, followed by analysis and reporting in a further 4 weeks.
Public Confidence: National Indicator 21
ORS was appointed to undertake Hertfordshire Police’s Public Confidence survey. This involved the completion of 6,000 telephone interviews over a 10 week period, and the survey is now ongoing with quarterly interview targets. To comply with the requirements of the NPIA, ORS developed a complex sampling approach including the random selection of individuals to ensure that the sample was representative of the wider population.
West Yorkshire Police
Using face-to-face in home interviews, ORS completed the West Yorkshire Police Public Confidence survey with a representative cross section of residents from across their area. This National survey, which has to meet Home Office guidance, requires over 3,000 interviews to be completed over the year.
ORS initially gathered the NI 21 data for Gloucestershire Police as part of their quarterly Crime and Safety Partnership survey - a postal survey sent to over 26,000 residents which looks at fear of crime and perceptions of the police. Gloucestershire Police has now deciced to complete the NI 21 survey using telephone interviews. ORS will be completing over 750 interviews each quarter to meet Home Office requirements.
West Mercia Police Force
ORS worked with West Mercia to develop a telephone survey to meet the requirements of the Home Office Public Confidence survey. Over a 6 week period, ORS completed over 4,000 telephone interviews with a representative cross section of the population meeting strict Home Office guidance. Going forward, the Force will continue to complete the NI 21 survey via telepone interviews with ORS providing quarterly datasets.
ORS was selected by Gwent Police to undertake the interviews required for their NI 21 survey using a telephone methodology. To meet the strict Home Office requirements for survey methodology, we utilise a complex sampling methodology to ensure the random selection of individuals within selected household based on rigorous application of the “next birthday” approach to avoid the need for supplementary quota samples.
Engaging with Hard-to-reach Groups
South Wales Police
Working with South Wales Police, ORS has conducted a wide range of qualitative studies. These have included views on Stop and Search powers, consultation with victims of domestic abuse and an in-depth study of people involved in road traffic collisions. Consultations with hard-to-reach groups have included youngsters, residents with health problems, members of the gypsy community, the lesbian gay bisexual transvestite and transgender community and prostitutes operating in Cardiff City Centre.
ORS was commissioned to undertake a programme of sensitive research for Cheshire Constabulary which focussed upon the policing of vulnerable groups. These researh involved engaging with a wide range of hard-to-reach groups across the force area, including rough sleepers and street prostitutes.
Training for Staff and Elected Members
North Wales Police Authority
North Wales Police Authority worked in partnership with ORS to develop and deliver an effective training programme for Elected Members to extend and improve their understanding of the range of public consultation methods avaialble. The programme also considered the assoicated advantages and disadvantages of each method in the context of the Police Authority's consultation requirements.
South Wales Police
ORS has worked extensively with South Wales Police and South Wales Police Authority across a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative research projects. Alongside this programme of work, we have also completed a training programme for Police Officers about the range of public consultation methods available.
Hertfordshire Police Authority
Since being appointed to the Hertfordshire PEP contract we have undertaken a number of projects across the area either directly for the police, or for the Police Authority and district councils. In particular we would highlight the work we undertook with the Police Authority, where we lead a workshop with Authority members looking at priorities for future years.