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2 August 2013, 09:09 | Updated: 2 August 2013, 09:11
Dorset Police are promising to improve their non-emergency service - after complaints about calls to the 101 number not being answered quickly enough.
Following discussions between Chief Constable Debbie Simpson and Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, the Force has agreed to recruit new telephone operators and invest in technology upgrades to ensure that contact with the public is improved.
Dorset Police has recently encountered difficulties answering non-emergency calls promptly. This has been due to delays in new recruits starting and the roll-out of new technology.
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said:
“It is vital, as we move into the busy summer holiday period, that we strengthen our plans to address these difficulties.
“Both the Police & Crime Commissioner and myself are keen to ensure that we respond to public concern and we will keep the public updated on progress over the next few weeks.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said:
“The public have, rightly, been vocal surrounding this crucial 101 non-emergency service and I have asked the Chief Constable to step up plans for service improvement.
“I am pleased that the Force has announced its commitment to improving contact with our communities.”
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson continued:
“I must stress that the planned improvements are specifically in relation to non-emergency calls.
“The 999 emergency number is obviously a priority and neither the difficulties experienced nor the improvements required impact upon our emergency control room.”
The Force is also reminding members of the public to consider the following when making a non-emergency call to improve the chances of enquiries being dealt with swiftly and efficiently:
-Report crime at the time – we are open 24/7 and here to help – please don’t wait until a Monday morning to report something that has happened over the weekend
-Submit enquiries, leave a message for an officer, request a call back and access a number of other services through the website – visit us at www.dorset.police.uk and click on ‘Do it online’
-Some people call the police in error – consider whether your enquiry is a police issue or is a matter for another organisation, for example noise pollution and parking enforcement is a local authority matter
-In the summer months, we receive lots of calls about crimes that are preventable – make sure you don’t leave valuables on display in your car and lock your doors and windows before leaving the house
-Remember: in an emergency, dial 999
The 101 non-emergency number was first used in Dorset and the four other south west regional forces in September 2011. It was rolled out nationally in January 2012.