Local people who make up Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ Service Delivery Assurance Panel have met to review police call handling and initial response as part of a rolling programme of sessions.
The Panel listened to live calls, reviewed cases and scrutinised call handling as part of the session, after the theme was selected in view of the current challenges faced by the Constabulary, including high levels of demand and the visible impact on waiting times and abandoned calls.
Following their visit to the Communications Department, the Panel commented on the difficult and challenging nature of the call handler’s job. They also shared their observations of consistent evidence of good practice in balancing quality of service with demand, as well as making recommendations on areas for improvement.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “It’s important that representatives of the local community have the opportunity to explore the quality of their police service delivery. The aim of my Panel is to give local people the chance to, openly and transparently, highlight examples of best practice as well as identifying areas for improvement.
“Residents regularly write to me with their experiences of using the 101 non-emergency number, so I felt it important for this theme to be looked at by the Panel. From the Panel’s findings it’s clear to see that more needs to be done to reduce waiting times, but when a caller does get through they generally receive an excellent service.”
Some of the calls listened to by the Panel in their review of a variety of cases included calls on non-police matters/calls for other agencies, mental health related calls and Grade 1, immediate response calls.
Sue continued: “The Panel made some interesting suggestions for improvement including increased promotion of online reporting options, suggestions regarding national issues and ideas around the use of mobile phone mapping technology, all of which I intend to take away and give due consideration to.”
During the course of last summer, PCC Sue Mountstevens’ Service Delivery Assurance Panel conducted a series of sessions focusing on anti-social behaviour, burglary, hate crime, victims and violence against women and children.
Each of the sessions looked at police case files across the three police areas in Avon and Somerset (North East, Somerset and Bristol) and the report produced following these sessions can be found here.
The Panel will now produce a report of their findings into the Constabulary’s call handling and initial response and this will be published on the PCC’s website alongside the Constabulary response in due course.
Posted on Monday 1st February 2016