I got this the other day from the local Community Policing Team:
There has been a significant shift in the way we manage our demand within the Police Service. The Community Policing Model recognises that the Police service is being asked to do more with less and helps to address this fact by resolving the problem at the first point of contract, whilst assessing the Threat, Harm and Risk associated with the contact without necessarily tasking an officer to attend in the first instance. The adage they work to in our Communication Centre is to get it right first time. Consequently, by doing more initially, this has seen an increase in waiting times for people to be answered. There are several factors that need to be considered here.
The first point is that under the CPT Model, calls for immediate help have seen an improvement. If calls were answered quicker and pushed through the system, this would not be the case. I hope this point is accepted as being the right stance.
The second point is that we have gone through, and continue to go through, a significant recruitment phase for many roles within the CPT. Police Officers, PCSO, Local Crime Investigators and Prisoner Transport Team members have all been recruited. Where do we find people with the right skills to do these roles? One area is our Communication Centre. These are members of Police Staff who have been trained in aspects of law and have good communication skills. It is not surprising that they then wish to use their training and continue to develop. Consequently recruitment and retention of staff is a significant factor, however to reassure you our Communication Centre Leadership team have a well-established rolling recruitment programme in place.
We are aware of the issue and exploring solutions including on-line reporting of crime, a more informative website and on-line chat and hope this different access channels will start to be available late summer 2017. We will not solve this issue overnight but are aware of our failings and are working hard to resolve them in order to deliver the best possible service to those who contact us
This is the police force that continues to devote huge resources to the prosecution of Sir Edward Heath – who died some years ago – for abusing small boys. Sustainability-speaking, I think it is a good job that I live in a low crime area.