Concerns raised over police’s calling system

Satisfaction: Tim Jacques has defended the service
Satisfaction: Tim Jacques has defended the service
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Crimes may be going unreported because police telephone operators are ‘rude’, it has been claimed.

During a meeting between one of Lancashire’s most senior police officers and county hall leaders, members of the committee discussed concerns about the 101 service.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques attended a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s scrutiny committee to discuss concerns raised.

The minutes of the report said: “Members expressed concern and some frustration with the current ‘Call 101’ call centre facility in operation by Lancashire Constabulary.

“Indeed some members of the public were reluctant to use the ‘Call 101’ facility because of negative experiences and the ‘ignorance’ and ‘tone of voice’ adopted by the operatives.

“Members requested that the Constabulary look closely at the current bank of telephonists operating ‘Call 101’ call centre to establish how effectively they were able to understand the needs of the callers.”

Lancashire County Coun Peter Malpas who is deputy chairman of the scrutiny committee said some of his colleagues felt more staff training was needed.

He said: “The 101 is a new thing and members brought up that sometimes the way calls were handled (was poor). Tim Jacques said he would take it on board as to how calls are handled.”

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, said: “In Lancashire we take our customer service approach seriously as recognised by being awarded the Governments own Customer Service Excellence Award. “While we don’t always get it right on every occasion, across our contact centres we take over 1.3 million calls per year and we commission regular independently conducted satisfaction surveys, the last of which revealed that around 98% of people who had called us were satisfied with the service they received.

“When on individual occasions our service falls below this expected high standard it is looked into and any issues are addressed and lessons learnt.”

“101 is a convenient number to call that will get you through to the right person and place. Our staff are then able to see exactly where you are calling from, assess your needs and if necessary use ARLS (Automated Resource Location System) to send you the nearest, most appropriate police resource.”