News : Staffordshire Police 101 Calls to be Improved by New System
Staffordshire, UK, April 15, 2015 -- Callers reporting non-emergency crimes to Staffordshire Police can now ask to be called back – to stop them being stuck on the phone so long.
The system is one of the measures being put in place to stop people waiting so long for their calls to be answered by the force's call handlers.
It comes as the force has already recruited 24 staff to work in its under-pressure call centre – with 32 more to be appointed.
The problems have been blamed on the merger of the force's two control rooms and staff refusing to move from Hanley to Stafford.
It left people waiting on average five minutes for their calls to be answered.
But figures released earlier this year showed callers were now waiting on average 56 seconds.
The Queue Buster system is supplied by software company Netcall.
A police report states: "This new system identifies if there are no call handlers immediately available. "Instead of waiting, the system offers the caller the choice to be called back.
"Queue Buster then holds the details to pass to the next available call handler and the system automatically calls the person back."
Last year, people were waiting on average five minutes for their calls to be answered in October – compared with 30 seconds in January, 2014.
One of the callers was kept waiting 47 minutes and 24 seconds before finally speaking to an operator.
A further 42 people waited at least half-an-hour for their calls to be answered and 230 others waited 20 minutes.
A total of 1,450 stayed on the line for at least five minutes before speaking to an operator.
Anyone who wants to report a non-emergency crime is asked to call police on 101.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Staffordshire Police:
Staffordshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands of England.
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2015