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Force improves response to non-emergency calls

Dorset Police’s response to 101 non-emergency calls has improved since plans were put in place to address concerns raised by members of the public.

Just over a month ago, Chief Constable Debbie Simpson and Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, agreed that the recruitment of new telephone operators and an investment in technology upgrades would ensure that contact with the public is improved.

Since the announcement the Force can confirm that the percentage of non-emergency calls answered within 30 seconds has risen from 54.2% in July to 69.2% in August. This represents the second best performance for the month of August within the last ten years.

In August, 2393 fewer calls were abandoned due to delays in answering calls than in July.

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “I am pleased that the measures announced four weeks ago have already contributed to an improved service to the public.

“This achievement is as a result of both the ongoing changes and the Force’s call handling staff, who have worked tirelessly over one of the busiest periods of the year to ensure that over 25,000 calls were answered within an average of 50 seconds.

“Of course, we are not complacent and I will continue to monitor our performance in this area to ensure that standards remain as high as possible.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “The public have, rightly, been vocal surrounding this crucial 101 non-emergency service and I am pleased that the latest figures are demonstrating a notable improvement.

“Good communication between our communities and the Force’s officers and staff is essential as we need to know all about the concerns of the public in order to ensure that we serve them to the best of our ability. It is precisely for that reason that I want the 101 service to be efficient and accessible at all times.”

The Force is also reminding members of the public to consider the following when making a non-emergency call to improve the chances of enquiries being dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

  • Report crime at the time – we are open 24/7 and here to help – please don’t wait until a Monday morning to report something that has happened over the weekend
  • You can submit enquiries, leave a message for an officer, request a call back and access a number of other services through the website – Please visit our ‘Do it online’ section on this website to find out more
  • Some people call the police in error – consider whether your enquiry is a police issue or is a matter for another organisation, for example noise pollution and parking enforcement is a local authority matter
  • In the summer months, we receive lots of calls about crimes that are preventable – make sure you don’t leave valuables on display in your car and lock your doors and windows before leaving the house
  • Finally, remember: in an emergency, dial 999

The ongoing improvements are specifically in relation to non-emergency calls and do not impact upon the Force’s emergency control room.

Issued: 6 September 2013