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Examining the Link Between the Forensic Quality and Customer Service Quality of Police Call Centre Interviews

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2010 Pages: 69-80
David G. Leeney; Katrin Mueller-Johnson
Date Published
12 pages
This study examined the relationship between the forensic quality and the customer service quality of investigative interviews conducted from police call centers.
Police call center performance is currently assessed using private sector performance measures such as call answer time and customer satisfaction. Police communications, however, place a higher value on the accuracy and efficiency of the caller/call handler interaction than do commercial organizations. This is because the police must also establish, maintain and develop, with the caller, the basis for action to protect the public or bring offenders to justice, in light of the caller's needs, the policing context and resources available at the time. The existing police performance measures, for call center assessment may therefore be inadequate when examined from a forensic perspective. This research fills a gap in the current literature by establishing if a normative evaluation of the police/citizen/call center interaction was sufficiently linked to the forensic quality of the interview to make the need to secondarily measure forensic quality redundant. This question was explored through an analysis of interview data drawn from two sources: extended secondary data relating to service quality and data coded by the researcher relating to forensic quality. Forensic quality of the call was assessed with a newly developed instrument. The research found that real world call center interviews varied both in terms of service and forensic quality. Furthermore, service quality and forensic quality were statistically unrelated, which means that it did not follow that a call delivering good customer service also delivered a forensically sound call. The implications of this finding for police practice are discussed. Figures and references (Published Abstract)