2013-10-18 15:12:27 - Most police forces now see the web as a vital way to interact with their local communities to help prevent criminal activity and to report crime as it happens.
A successful police website needs to be fully functional, with nothing ‘broken’ or missing on the page, should meet legal requirements such as accessibility, perform well and always needs to ensure users have a positive experience, so they come back often.
That’s why the Sitemorse Q4 Index of 50 UK police force websites is an important benchmark, spotlighting the forces that are currently leading the field with the best-working websites in the sector.
This month the new Police Force Scotland has hit the top of the Sitemorse table, displacing the Cleveland force, which has been seen as the best on the web for the past four quarters.
Police Scotland, led by Chief Constable Stephen House, was only formed on 1 April this
year 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. With a rating of more than 8/10, Police Scotland received the highest score we have seen in this sector for quite some time and is well ahead of its nearest rivals.
Second-placed Merseyside Police, scoring 6.5/10, has done remarkably well; until 2012 it regularly featured towards the bottom of our table, but its score has gradually been increasing until it has now reached almost the top.
In third place and also rising three places up the table is Gwent Police, a force looking after 600 miles of South Wales between Abergavenny and Newport. The website scores 6/10 overall, but has one of the highest scores recorded for accessibility – 9/10.
The Cleveland Police website, which had taken the honours for the last four quarters in succession, drops back to eighth place with a score of 5.6/10. The rest of our top ten of performing police websites includes the North Wales, Thames Valley, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Essex forces.
Top risers this time include North Yorkshire Police (+6 places to 34th), Civil Nuclear Constabulary (+8 to 17), Nottinghamshire Police (+10 to 18th), British Transport Police (+12 to 30) and the Metropolitan Police Service (+14 places to 13th overall).
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.
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. Cleveland and North Wales each once again scored a creditable 8, as did the Bedfordshire force.
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.
• More information about our surveys and what they test can be found on our website www.sitemorse.com/survey/
• For further Information: Geoff Paddock, Head of Communications on +44 207 183 5588 gpaddock@Sitemorse.com