Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner is satisfied that Cleveland Police’s response to emergency 999 calls is improving.
Latest figures show the number of 999 calls answered in 10 seconds or less has improved over the past six months.
There has also be an overall reduction in the time taken to answer 999 calls from the public. In addition, fewer calls have been abandoned.
In March, 87.6 per cent of 999 calls were answered in 10 seconds or less – compared to 78.2 per cent in August 2021.
It now takes emergency call handlers an average of 4.1 seconds to respond – 3.3 seconds less than in August.
The number of 999 calls abandoned also dropped by 0.4 per cent during the same six-month period.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “I am satisfied that Cleveland Police’s control room is making great strides in improving its response to 999 emergency calls.
“Improvements come despite a rise in the overall number of calls in the past year with demand now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
“The complexity of the issues, with which call handlers are dealing on a daily basis, is also increasing.
“Police staff are dealing with more vulnerable people. That includes those suffering from mental health problems. Staff also have to be highly sensitive to safeguarding issues in cases such as domestic and child abuse.”
Figures presented at Steve’s most recent scrutiny meeting also showed that the average time taken to answer non-emergency – or 101 calls – has also dropped.
It now takes an average of just 153 seconds for the control room to answer non-emergency calls.
Figures come despite a number of staff vacancies within the control room.
Data showed that there were 24 control room vacancies in April – the highest figure for 12 months.
Steve said: “Cleveland Police has had an increased number of staff leaving the team over the past year.
“However, this has been against the backdrop of an extremely buoyant labour market as more sectors of the economy open up again after the pandemic.
“Cleveland Police has put a number of measures in place to improve staff retention. These include investing in staff training, introducing more flexible working patterns and putting an increased focus on staff well being.
“I am confident these measures will pay dividends in the medium to long-term, leading to improved staff retention and even better performance.
“However, as the people’s representative in policing for Cleveland, I plan to keep an eye on control room performance and staffing to make sure standards are maintained and improved.”
Cleveland Police is currently undertaking a recruitment campaign for its control room. For more details go to: Cleveland Police Recruitment (engageats.co.uk)