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					                  Barriers To Engagement (page one of four)



Introduction

The initial barrier to any engagement activity can often reside entirely within the
person/s responsible for organising and developing any such activity. The
acquisition or use of a pragmatic, organised, determined and patient individual (or
group of individuals) is key in order to ensure that any engagement activity has
the best possible chance to succeed. A well informed and enthusiastic evangelist
can overcome most potential barriers that lay in their path and also act as a
recruiting sergeant in your search for active citizens who will participate in local
policing decision making and support of the constabulary.

Having selected the appropriate individuals/s to implement your chosen
engagement mechanism it makes sense to consider and prepare for any specific
barriers that might diminish, delay or damage your plans. In this section we
provide you with a list of potential barriers to engagement that you might want to
consider prior to implementation.

We had placed these barriers into three categories:
Organisational:
These are barriers that might be found within your own structures and, as such,
should be within your power to overcome.
Community:
A more complex set of issues that focus on your knowledge and empathy
towards the local community that you want to engage with.
Partners:
In order to reduce duplication, share expertise and avoid ‘consultation fatigue’
many police authorities and police forces now work in partnership with a variety of
organisations and allowance should be made for any difference in priorities or
working style that may emerge.

This list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive and like much of the content of this
toolkit, can be added to by practitioners over time. It is suggested that the list be
used as a checking device and as an ‘early warning system' for practitioners
when preparing to develop engagement tools.
Organisational Barriers to Engagement

        Resources
Do you have the necessary finances and staff to implement activity or can you
share resources with partners/stakeholders?
        Leadership
Do you have the support of senior management and is there a specific person
allocated as lead for your project?
        Communication
Do you have a mechanism to ensure that any activity is communicated both
within your organisation and to partners/key stakeholders?
        Knowledge Sharing
Do you employ any process that promotes the sharing of experience and the
planning/implementation of tasks in order to learn lessons and avoid duplication?
        Planning Process
Do you provide a clear structure that promotes advance planning with clear
timelines and objectives?
        Funding & Financial Budgeting
Do you have systems in place to identify and address alternative funding streams
and sound financial controls to ensure that budgets are adhered to?
        Commitment
Do you have the full and unequivocal support of all those involved in the activity?
        Trainings
Do you have a training structure to support staff involved in public engagement?
        Culture
Do you have a corporate culture that embraces and supports the notion of public
engagement?
        Operational / Tactical issues
Do your engagement activities clash with or otherwise affect any specific
operational or tactical issues?
        Risk Assessment
Do you institute a risk assessment as part of your planning process for
engagement activities?
        Jargon / Shared Vocabulary
Do you avoid the use of jargon in your communications and where possible
employ ‘plain english’?
        Unrepresentative Groups
Do you check with partners/key stakeholders/ national bodies that any groups
purporting to be ‘representative’ actually are what they claim to be?
        Conflicting timescales and priorities
Do you consider and manage any such conflicts that may occur within your own
organisation or in response to external demands ie: from central government?
Lack of response to Feedback
Do you ensure that feedback received is acted on and that any such action is
communicated back to participants?
       Venues
Do you utilise appropriate venues that are suitable for your audience and are
compliant with DDA guidelines?
       Timing
Do you ensure that any engagement activity is advertised well in advance and
does not clash with alternative events that might reduce your potential audience?
       Lack of Creativity
Do you encourage ‘blue sky’ thinking in your planning for engagement in order to
establish new and innovative methods to attract and retain a variety of audiences
from within the community, including minority and ‘hard to hear’ groups?
Community


      Communication
             Knowledge Sharing
      Beyond the Gatekeepers
      Geography
             Inner City
             Rural
      Demography
             Language
             Culture
             Faith
      Trust and confidence
             Apathy
             Consultation Fatigue
             Past Histories
      Fear & safety
      Funding & Financial Budgeting
      Failed Promises & Unmet Community Needs
      ‘Capacity Building Issues’
      Jargon / Shared Vocabulary
      Training
      Unrepresentative Groups
      Conflicting timescales and priorities
      Venues
      Timing



Partners

      Communication
      Knowledge Sharing
      Mistrust
      Coordination
      Unrepresentative Community Groups
      Politics and Personalities
      Conflicting timescales and priorities
      Funding & Financial Budgeting
      Shared Vision / Expectations
      Venues
      Timing

				
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