News : Staffordshire Police Now Answer Non-emergency Calls in 92 Seconds
Staffordshire, UK, Nov 17, 2015 -- Non-emergency calls in Staffordshire were answered in just over a minute and a half in October - an improvement on the same period last year.
The average time callers to 101 waited last month was 92 seconds, down from 300 seconds for the same month last year, which police bosses have said was the force's 'longest time ever'.
But despite the improved time, Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, said more still needed to be done to improve the service.
He also said the number was dogged with a 'phenomenal' number of unsuitable calls.
Mr Ellis said: "There have been problems on 101 and 999 calls for some time but both services have improved dramatically.
"I think the perception of 101 has improved significantly, especially after going through a bad patch.
"We need to change what the public think as it may still be labelled as a 'bad service' and this is ingrained in their perception. However, it has improved."
Mr Ellis added: "As always the police are the first and last resort in too many cases.
"The number of calls that the police deal with that are not police responsibility is phenomenal.
"But we do want to public to know that we are available when they need us the most and this being with our 999 service," he added.
The improvement comes as more workers were taken on by Staffordshire Police since last November. A further 32 call handler jobs were created earlier this year following an overhaul of the force's control room.
Staff are now based at a new control room at police headquarters in Stafford, rather than being spread across that site and Hanley Police Station.
It boosted the total number of workers at the call centre by a fifth.
Assistant chief police constable, Bernie O'Reilly, said there was 'no quick fix' but a 60 per cent improvement meant they had come a long way.
"It bottomed out 12 months ago when it was the longest time it had ever been, so there is no doubt we have come a good way since then," he said
"The second highest call that comes in as non-emergency is people asking for advice, so this needs to be tackled.
"By February 2016 we want to work towards more trained and accredited staff handling calls in the best possible way.
"Our aim of transformation is to reduce demand and I think we will see an improvement in call handling times from February 2016."
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, November 19, 2015