report praises Somerset Police's handling of 999 and 101 calls
report by an independent panel of local people working on behalf
of Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has found that
Avon and Somerset Police answer the vast majority of 999 and 101
A panel of 10 volunteers, including three employees from the Office
of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), visited the police communications
department on a recent Friday and Saturday evening for an overview
of the department, and to listen to live calls.
Head of Communications and the Communications Centre Manager were
interviewed and the Panel evaluated 90 calls, including 30 calls
from unsatisfied callers.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said afterwards:
"I hope that local people can take confidence from this assurance
exercise. The vast majority of calls were evaluated positively and
the panel were impressed when observing the centre operating at
peak weekend time."
"There is much evidence to suggest that the communications
centre is continually improving the way it manages demand and calls
for service. My primary priority is to protect the most vulnerable
from harm and this is well-embedded within the communications centre."
Avon and Somerset Constabulary typically receives just under one
million calls a year to its 999 and 101 service.
The report shows that the overwhelming majority of calls reviewed
received positive feedback from the panel and a high quality service
The panel noted the professionalism and breadth of knowledge of
the call handling staff, and the calm and sensitive manner in which
they carried out their work.
While evaluating the calls 6% presented issues of concern for the
panel such as not asking enough questions, showing more empathy
to the caller and failing to give advice. These calls have been
referred to the communications centre for review for the purposes
of organisational learning and individual development. There were
also excellent examples of call handling in 12% of calls.
The assurance work was carried out in response to concerns expressed
by local people over the high levels of demand for the call handling
service and increased waiting times for the 101 service. You
can read the report here.