Everybody has a duty to attend meetings of their local district policing partnership (DPP), a leading Policing Board member has said.
District policing partnerships advise local stations
It has emerged that many meetings are attended by fewer than 20 people.
DPPs operate as sub-committees of local councils, advising on policing priorities and holding police commanders in their areas to account.
Policing Board Deputy Chairman Barry Gilligan said people unsatisfied with handling of crime should take action.
"It seems to me that if you're motivated enough to ring radio phone-in programmes or if you're with your friends in the pub talking about vandalism or complaining about police response times, you have the responsibility to make the extra effort and attend a DPP meeting," he said.
District policing partnerships were set up in 2002 under reforms resulting from the Patten Report.
The partnerships fall under the auspices of the Policing Board, which holds the PSNI as a whole to account.
They are made up of councillors and members of the local community, who work alongside the police's 29 District Command Units in trying to meet policing needs.