Police cast the net for 10 new 101 call handlers
April 24th, 2015
Police in Cambridgeshire are pressing ahead with plans to expand the 101 service with the addition of 10 new call handlers.
The Force has embarked on a recruitment campaign to appoint the new team members as part of a drive to improve efficiency and strengthen the service so that it can deal with a higher volume of calls at peak times. It is hoped the new staff will be appointed in June.
The move comes after Chief Constable Simon Parr and Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright agreed to invest in recruitment and training to enhance delivery of the 101 service and meet public expectations.
Applicants must have prior call handling experience but full training for the new role will be provided to successful candidates.
The job will involve working in a pressured environment, communicating with people who might be emotionally distressed at the time of making a call. Call handlers have a hugely important role to play in helping vulnerable people remain calm but they also hold the key to improving public satisfaction with the police by delivering a first class service at all times.
Commenting on the new recruitment drive, Sir Graham said: “Call handlers are often the very first point of contact the general public has with Cambridgeshire Constabulary and for this reason they play a crucial role in keeping people safe and fulfilling good service expectations. In effect they are part of the front line. I feel strongly that the 101 service is an area which warrants further financial support so that we can continue to improve the experience local people have when they contact the Police.
“While the purpose of 101 is to handle non-urgent police enquiries, occasionally situations can escalate into something more serious and call handlers need to be prepared and trained to deal with these situations and provide the appropriate response.
“The Chief Constable and I are committed to delivering a first rate 101 service and this investment will help us to meet our obligations to the public and ensure people have a fast and direct route to their local force.”
The recruitment drive follows the £60,000 already invested in new technology to improve call handling performance. The Interactive Voice Response system is due to become operational in May and will be an upgrade to the current model, allowing callers to be routed to their required destination in a more timely and efficient manner. It will include improved options to route calls direct to officers, reducing demand on 101 staff. Meanwhile, the new Queuebuster System will give callers the option of a ring back while retaining their place in the queue.
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