Policing does not exist in a social, political or economic vacuum. As the task of policing becomes ever more complex, policing in the UK should explore innovative ways to remain effective. The notion that the public are the 'customer' is relatively new within the policing world and there is an increasing emphasis to ensure that the police maintain and preferably increase the public's perception of the organisation. In the main, the public contact the police for some form of service and in times of austerity; police services across the country are attempting to align their service and organisational structures to customers' needs in order to provide an economic and efficient service. In order to do this, the needs of those who receive the service need to be considered as the first step in this process. This article, based on recent research explores how customers engage with and contact the police and by better understanding the dynamics and intricacies of such contacts, may allow the police service in England and Wales to better understand customer preferences.