Commissioner welcomes improved 101 performance, but says focus on the service must remain
Devon and Cornwall Police has made a significant improvement to its 101 non-emergency service since Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg demanded urgent action.
In January Mr Hogg insisted on an immediate performance upgrade, saying his review into the service highlighted ‘a poor state’ of affairs.
Now, figures recorded for the last two weeks show that, on average, calls transferred to the Force Enquiry Centre (FEC) are answered in less than three minutes.
In addition, for the same period, less than one in 10 calls wait more than 10 minutes to be answered.
When the OPCC first reported on the 101 service in December 2014 the average waiting time for calls transferred to the Force Enquiry Centre was 4 minutes 17 seconds. When it reported again in January 2016, this time had worsened to 8 minutes 24 seconds, with 32% of calls not being answered within 10 minutes.
"I am heartened to see the significant improvement in 101 call handling over recent weeks,” said Mr Hogg.
“I pay tribute to the considerable efforts of police staff, and my own office, who have worked hard to deliver this improvement. The service that has been achieved over the past fortnight is what the public deserve.
"I have been frustrated over the past four years continually hearing from the public about these long waiting times. I hope that we have now turned a corner and that the chief constable will be able to maintain these improved service standards.
“I am certain that the next PCC will wish to make this a priority in their early weeks of office."
Since the PCC published his second report on the 101 service in January the chief constable has established a gold group, comprising experts from across the police force and OPCC, to ensure immediate improvements in the service. The PCC made £250,000 available to fund any new costs.
Andrew White, OPCC chief executive said: "The underlying technology that supports the control room and contact centre still needs to be upgraded. This improvement has been achieved through a better management focus and diverting resources to these important tasks. It is early days, but, if this effort can continue, I hope that the improved performance can be maintained."