Cops aim to be a cut above others

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A TOP cop and a top hairdresser met to discuss the importance of customer service.

Durham Constabulary and Toni and Guy hairdressers are among a number of organisations who have been studying customer service at Durham University’s Business School.

Toni and Guy joint founder Toni Mascolo has been made an honorary professor at the school.

Toni and Chief Constable Mike Barton paid a promotional visit to Toni’s salon in the Prince Bishops shopping centre, Durham City.

“People might be surprised, but there is synergy between the police and businesses such as Toni and Guy,” said Mr Barton.

“When someone comes in for a hairdo, they want to be looked after, satisfied and pleased by the experience. It’s the same when someone rings the police.

“Often the person who rings us is upset, so in some ways we have further to go to meet their expectations and to leave them feeling they have been well dealt with.”

Mr Barton said the customer service ethos applied to both victims and criminals.

“We still need to arrest people and lock them up, and we will never shy away from that,” he added. “But that also needs to be done in the proper manner.

“There are other ways we can deal with people who break the law.

“For example, the other day I saw someone drive through a no-entry sign in Durham City.

“That person is coming in to see me about it.

“They don’t know it yet, but they are not going to be charged.

“I will give them a ticking off in such a way that I think they will be unlikely to do it again.”

Mr Barton joked he would only go to a hairdresser “for a polish”, so he brought Pc Katie Lawrence to have her hair done by Toni.

“My family are all hairdressers,” said Toni.

“At Toni and Guy, we have always understood the importance of the customer.”