‘Mystery shoppers’ wanted by Thames Valley Police

Bicester Advertiser: Thames Valley Police Thames Valley Police

VOLUNTEERS are needed to go undercover and quiz police staff about missing pets and directions.

Thames Valley Police is calling for hundreds of “mystery shoppers” to test its service.

Anyone who signs up to the scheme will be given a task – from asking for directions to reporting lost dogs – and will then fill out a survey to let the force know how it performed.

A message sent out by the force reads: “The purpose of the Mystery Shopping Programme is to assess how Thames Valley Police perform (including our strengths and weaknesses) and to identify any areas where we might need to make changes or improvements.”

But it adds: “Unfortunately we are not able to offer any incentive or reimburse expenses such as petrol expenditure to volunteers of the Mystery Shopping Programme.”

It comes as last month the Oxford Mail reported 12 people had completed a questionnaire used to gauge the impact of cuts in police station opening hours.

Thames Valley Police scaled back public access hours at its police stations by up to 70 per cent two years ago to save £600,000 over three years.

Force spokeswoman Natalie Wallace said the scheme would be used to assess the performance of front counter services and identify possible improvements.

She said that the force was looking for between 300 and 500 volunteers across the Thames Valley.

She said: “They will be given the task and they will have 28 days to get their results back in so they are able to choose when and to which station they go during that time.

“They won’t be asked to do anything like report crime or stolen property.

“Tasks will include things like asking for advice about reporting a lost dog or lost keys or asking for directions to a local place or building.

“The mystery shopper will give general feedback about the customer service they received, whether the front counter was presentable, whether they were given helpful, friendly advice.”

Comments (8)

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12:21pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

“The purpose of the Mystery Shopping Programme is to assess how Thames Valley Police perform (including our strengths and weaknesses) and to identify any areas where we might need to make changes or improvements.” .........
..........I'll tell them one area that needs improvement, without even having to ask any questions.........st
art nicking drivers that have illegal number plates, there are loads of them, but TVP do nothing....despite them carrying a maximum £1000 fine and M.O.T. failure
“The purpose of the Mystery Shopping Programme is to assess how Thames Valley Police perform (including our strengths and weaknesses) and to identify any areas where we might need to make changes or improvements.” ......... ..........I'll tell them one area that needs improvement, without even having to ask any questions.........st art nicking drivers that have illegal number plates, there are loads of them, but TVP do nothing....despite them carrying a maximum £1000 fine and M.O.T. failure Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 7

12:53pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

It's bad enough you don't investigate 'real' crimes thoroughly if at all but you now want to start making up work for yourselves to test your systems. How about using the crime figures and detection rates to tell you what we already know, that is, you are doing a **** poor job already.
It's bad enough you don't investigate 'real' crimes thoroughly if at all but you now want to start making up work for yourselves to test your systems. How about using the crime figures and detection rates to tell you what we already know, that is, you are doing a **** poor job already. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 7

1:00pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Fruit_Bat says...

"Unfortunately we are not able to offer any incentive or reimburse expenses such as petrol expenditure"
AhaHaHaHa!! Try telling that to TVP Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.
"Unfortunately we are not able to offer any incentive or reimburse expenses such as petrol expenditure" AhaHaHaHa!! Try telling that to TVP Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld. Fruit_Bat
  • Score: 23

1:07pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Quentin Walker says...

Occasionally, a few years ago, I had to to visit police front counters in a professional capacity. Although I was there to assist the police, the amount of time I had to spend queueing just to announce my presence was ridiculous.

The best of luck to the mystery shoppers!
Occasionally, a few years ago, I had to to visit police front counters in a professional capacity. Although I was there to assist the police, the amount of time I had to spend queueing just to announce my presence was ridiculous. The best of luck to the mystery shoppers! Quentin Walker
  • Score: 11

1:14pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

If you're going to undertake a "mystery shopping" exercise properly it has to be undertaken by one of the major operators like TNS.

DIY will never work properly, better to just accept that sometimes you do have to pay to do things properly.
If you're going to undertake a "mystery shopping" exercise properly it has to be undertaken by one of the major operators like TNS. DIY will never work properly, better to just accept that sometimes you do have to pay to do things properly. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -1

3:33pm Sat 28 Jun 14

John Lamb says...

Maybe the call operators should be mystery shopped as the difference in customer care can vary massively between operators.
Maybe the call operators should be mystery shopped as the difference in customer care can vary massively between operators. John Lamb
  • Score: 7

3:58pm Sun 29 Jun 14

JanetJ says...

Difficult to mystery shop at a local Police station as they seem to be closed at times most working people would need to call in (except for Oxford where you can't park)
Difficult to mystery shop at a local Police station as they seem to be closed at times most working people would need to call in (except for Oxford where you can't park) JanetJ
  • Score: 5

7:43pm Mon 30 Jun 14

riman09 says...

Why were the police not told there is nothing like a free lunch!
Why were the police not told there is nothing like a free lunch! riman09
  • Score: 0

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