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New Force Control Centre opens in Winfrith

Dorset Police’s new Force Control Centre, combining the former Police Enquiry Centre and Force Control Room, is now operational at Dorset Police headquarters in Winfrith. The merge has caused short-term disruptions to services as systems are relocated and more staff recruited.

In the face of ongoing cuts in the police budget, Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner have been reviewing the Force’s estate to ensure buildings are optimised and they are in the best locations to meet operational demands.

For interoperability purposes and long term financial benefits, Dorset Police Enquiry Centre and the Force Control Room have combined to create one Force Control Centre. This new control centre opened last month and is based at Dorset Police Headquarters, Winfrith.

The amalgamation of the Police Enquiry Centre and the Force Control Room will save Dorset Police approximately £1.3 million per year. This is a total saving of £5.4 million by 2018/19.

Unfortunately, this change has resulted in some disruption being experienced while systems are transferred and more staff are recruited to support the increased demands on the Force Control Centre.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The public and councillors have been quite vocal about the 101 non-emergency service and I have asked the Force to step up plans for service improvement."

Jane Jennings, Head of Contact Management said: “The recent changes have caused a temporary dip in our service. I would like to apologise for this and assure the public that we are actively recruiting more staff into the Force Control Centre to improve waiting times and overall performance. 

“We receive a high volume of calls during peak hours so would like to advise the public to call outside these hours in an effort to reduce call waiting times and make use of the resources we have available at all hours of the day.

“Our peak times are between 9am and 1pm, and 4pm and 7pm. People also wait until Monday morning to report incidents that occurred over the weekend so Monday is our busiest day.

“I would like to remind the public that the Force Control Centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So the best approach is to phone us as soon as the incident happens, particularly if it happens at the weekend, as this will help smooth the volume of calls throughout the week.”

You can also visit our Do It Online section to access a range of services available online including making an enquiry, leaving a message for an officer and requesting a call back. 

This month’s recruitment advertisement for Force Control Centre staff was posted on to social media and resulted in an increased number of applicants for the role. A number of people are now being short-listed and the Force will continue recruiting for the next 12 months, with the next advert circulated at the start of July 2014.

Issued: 3 June 2014

101 is the non-emergency number