News : Police Vow to Improve Way Public Calls are Handled
Dundee, UK, July 15, 2016 -- Police chiefs have insisted that members of the public in Dundee will see improvements in the way that calls are handled in the city.
The Tele revealed earlier this week how the control room at the city’s West Bell Street HQ was the worst-performing in Scotland when it came to answering non-emergency 101 calls within the target time of 40 seconds.
It also answered the lowest percentage of 999 calls within 10 seconds of any control room in the country.
Almost one in four 101 calls took more than 40 seconds to be answered, sparking concerns from community leaders who said delays could put the public in danger.
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But a spokesman for Police Scotland insisted work was taking place to improve the quality of service on offer to the public in Dundee and surrounding areas.
He added: "The latest figures for May 2016 for Dundee show 78% of non-emergency calls were answered within 40 seconds.
"Since then, significant work has been ongoing to reduce the number of calls which fall below the grade of service.
"This includes improvements to the IT system used across Scotland which reduces any delays in answering calls from the public by ensuring contact is shared across service centres at the busiest times.
"The Contact, Command and Control (C3) Division is undergoing a significant programme of change to ensure long-term improvements. It is anticipated that future handling will show a marked increase in performance.
"The introduction of STORM Unity and the ability to share calls across Scotland means calls are answered more efficiently.
"Handling 999 and 101 calls is a key part of our frontline policing response and we are committed to providing the highest level of service while dealing with the most challenging situations.
"The changes currently taking place within C3 Division will ensure we have more capability and resilience to answer calls quickly and effectively during major incidents and periods of peak demand."
Drew Livingstone, Unison’s Police Staff Scotland services and conditions officer in Dundee, said he felt Dundee was the poorest-performing call centre as staff were being asked to do more work than the other call centres.
He said: "The performance figures show the times for the Dundee staff answering calls.
"Some calls from the Grampian area are redirected to Glasgow or Edinburgh, meaning the performance doesn’t suffer.
"The system Dundee uses is a single ICT system. It hasn’t been updated to STORM yet, so the small pool of staff there are essentially left to their own devices.
"They have a larger volume of calls to answer so it’s only natural they will end up as the poorest performing site."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Police Scotland:
The Police Service of Scotland is the primary police service of Scotland. It was formed in 2013 with the merger of all eight territorial police forces in Scotland and the specialist services of the Scottish Police Services Authority, including the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Although not formally absorbing it, the merger also resulted in the winding down of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Published: Monday, July 18, 2016
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