2014-01-21 15:44:48 - The fight against crime has moved online, with police forces using their websites to interact with local communities to help prevent criminal activity and to report crime as it happens.
A successful police site needs to be fully functional, with nothing broken or missing on the page, meet legal requirements such as accessibility, perform well and needs to ensure users have a positive experience so they want to return.
That’s why the Sitemorse Q1 2014 Index ranking just under 50 UK police force websites is important, spotlighting the forces that are currently leading the field with the best-working websites in the sector.
Sitemorse reviews the websites of businesses and organisations in a number of sectors, and has been benchmarking and publishing the detailed results for a decade. The full results from this and other recent surveys can be seen on our website, www.sitemorse.com.
Six or seven years ago the Merseyside Police site
was just three from the bottom of our rankings, with a very poor rating – but huge strides now see the force at the very top of our table for the first time, following a consistent move up the top five placings in 2013.
With an area of 647 square kilometres and a population of 1.5 million, Merseyside Police has more than 4,500 officers and an annual budget of more than £300m, making it one of the larger UK forces. The Merseyside website scored 6.5 of a possible ten marks but the three top sites, including Police Scotland and the North Wales Police, were all very close in the ranking.
The newly-formed Police Scotland force drops from first to second place, still an amazing achievement for a police authority that was only formed in April 2013. Police Scotland merged several authorities and is responsible for policing across the length and breadth of Scotland, some 28,168 square miles, making it the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police.
Based in Colwyn Bay on the North Wales Coast, the North Wales Police has been a consistent high-flyer in the Sitemorse ranking since 2011 and rises one place in this latest Index. With more than 2,500 staff, the authority boats that North Wales is one of the safest places to live in the UK.
Top risers this time include Gloucestershire Constabulary (up seven places to 16th overall), West Midlands Police (rising eight places to 27th), City of London Police (up 10 to 10th overall), Surrey Police (+11 to 17th) and biggest riser the National Crime Agency (formerly the Serious Organised Crime Agency)(+20 to seventh overall).
The 'digital inclusion' of disabled people is important for many of the sectors we survey, as well as being backed by the force of the law. If someone with a disability, such as sight loss, can't access the information on a website then it could be seen as discrimination. Highest scorers for accessibility in this latest Index, rated 9/10, were the Thames Valley and Gwent forces. Bedfordshire and North Wales each once again scored a creditable 8/10.
Fastest page load times this time were recorded for the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk forces. A response time above 0.75 seconds can have a negative effect on user experience, but we recorded speeds of 0.02 seconds for Essex and Suffolk.
About the Index
The scores for the Police Index table are created by Sitemorse (www.sitemorse.com) using its automated software that reads and reviews the first 125 pages of each site and places them in a ranked table based on User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO).
The quarterly Index Website Review, powered by the Sitemorse software platform, is an important independent benchmark that clearly shows how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It’s also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.
Sitemorse services such as Governisation and the Web Management Toolkit immediately find the issues that affect web users the most on any website, help demonstrate real improvement and ensure you have control and confidence in your web presence.
They will help you minimise unnecessary risk, issues covering everything from compliance with web standards to helping you deal with malware, protect your brand across even a large web presence, and enhance search engine optimisation to help more potential customers find you. They can help spotlight content that may need updating, issues with staff training and support, and focus supplier management. We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to request further details and / or an example.