We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Cheshire sees call handling results after PCC raises salaries

Cheshire is starting to see reductions in the time taken to answer 999 and 101 calls as higher salaries have attracted more people back to the force.

Cheshire is starting to see positive results in the control room after their PCC raised salaries and launched a recruitment drive. 

Responding to the public is an area in which Cheshire “requires improvement” according to their latest 2021/22 PEEL inspection report. 

Speaking to his Police and Crime panel before Christmas, PCC John Dwyer gave the latest statistics. 

As of November, 90.4% of 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds, the average answer time was seven seconds. 

Meanwhile, during November 2022, 90% of grade one incidents were attended within the target time of 15 minutes with an average response time across Cheshire of less than seven and a half minutes. 

PCC Dwyer said: “I’m of the view, that one or two seconds delay in answering the 999 call isn’t really the issue. The issue is that having made the 999 call how long is it going to take the police to get to you.

“The real issue is are they turning up on time and the answer is yes.” 

Meanwhile the abandonment rate for non-emergency calls was at 14.6% between September and November, with the average answering time under six minutes. 

It compares with a year high abandonment rate of 37.3% in August 2021. 

PCC Dwyer told the panel: “There is still room for improvement. 

“I’ve set no target for this, apart from saying to the Chief I want that lower than that.” 

Meanwhile, a panel member asked him about the establishment level recruitment. 

He said: “[During the pandemic] people who had been made redundant from travel agencies and the like came to us with the skills they had in terms of answering calls.

“As soon as the pandemic was sorted - off they go again.

“We did end up with an issue where actually we discovered that our neighbouring forces were paying their call handlers more than we were paying.

“The Chief and I discussed this, we raised the level of pay we then had people coming back into the force. 

“I authorised the Chief to go above the establishment knowing that levels of people fluctuate because people leave or they get sick. 

“I wanted it to be above normal level so we could actually start driving these figures down and that’s exactly what’s happening. 

“I’m really pleased the evidence is there that things are improving.” 

In July, Cheshire announced that resources would be realigned from some of the helpdesks to the Control Centre. Facilities were reduced at 10 helpdesks and members of the public were re-directed to the five that remain open.

Leave a Comment
View Comments 4
In Other News
Hertfordshire’s community engagement platform praised
Systems alert: the evolution of intelligent alarms
TVP call handling apprentices “hit the ground running”
More News