Commissioner to invest £300,000 improving 101 service

Police commisioner Sir Graham Bright.

Police commisioner Sir Graham Bright. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire police plans to recruit more call handlers and invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in new equipment to improve performance of its 101 service.

The move was agreed this week between the force and police and crime commissioner, Sir Graham Bright.

The police service centre, where the 101 calls are answered, receives around 30,000 calls a month.

More than 90 per cent are answered within the target of 30 seconds and about half of calls can be dealt with immediately. However, half need to be transferred to another member of staff and the force said this can cause delays.

The average wait time for transferred calls in February was three minutes 28 seconds. However, some callers have had to wait considerably longer and public dissatisfaction with the 101 service remains one of the most common complaints received by the police and crime commissioner.

In order to overcome delays during peak call periods and to meet public expectation, more than £300,000 is being invested in recruiting and training 10 additional members of staff.

Sir Graham Bright, said: “I am well aware from comments made to me by the public that delays in answering 101 calls is a big issue. I consider 101 a front line service and as such people get incredibly frustrated if they want to report a crime but are unable to get through quickly.

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“In response to this I have agreed with the chief constable to invest in more staff and new technology in order to help the police service centre better cope with periods of high demand. I would like to pay tribute to the incredible job that the call handlers do, often dealing with difficult situations and under considerable pressure.”