Good news from the Police; their 101 non-emergency phone service isn't taking ages to answer any more!
West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner has written to Councillor Jo Fairburn to reassure her that the 101 non-emergency phone service is now fully staffed.
Councillor Fairburn had sought assurances that the 101 service would be resourced properly, after reports of the police call centre taking up to 40 minutes to answer. She was concerned that the service may be under-resourced now that the force allows the public to report crime via their website.
Chief Superintendent Bourner did admit that there are still periods where calls aren't being answered with the target of 30 seconds. However, waiting times are now much lower than early in 2017.
Here is the text of the letter to Councillor Fairburn:
Dear Mrs Fairburn
Re: 101 Non Emergency Service
Thank you for your letter to the Chief Constable. I have been asked to respond on his behalf. I am pleased to be able to tell you that our 101 non-emergency service has reached full establishment levels in terms of staffing and we are now experiencing sustained periods of resilience. As the force is still within its period of peak demand, and new staff are still being trained, there are however periods of the day and night where we are not delivering on our target of answering 101 calls within 30 seconds. We also continue to prioritise and protect the 999 call service with emergency calls now answered on average within 2 seconds.
I can assure you that we are not dialling down our 101 service as a result of the new WMP Online service and we are answering our calls for service more quickly, having improved significantly since the beginning of 2017 when callers to 101 were experiencing long delays before a call would be answered. This position has improved greatly with this time now reduced on average to below a minute. We also continue to resolve 75 per cent of the demand that comes into the Force Contact department without having to pass it into the rest of the organisation.
The department is working on new ways for the public to engage with us, and we will always resource our 101 service to meet demand. There are huge improvements in this service and I can reassure you and your residents that they should experience a better level of service as further improvements continue to be made.
Chief Superintendent, Force Contact