Visit to contact centre makes big impression on West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (13 Feb 2015)

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Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner visited West Yorkshire Police's contact centre last week (05/02) and met some of the dedicated people who answer emergency and non-emergency telephone calls.

Everyone who rings 999 or 101 within West Yorkshire will get through to one of the skilled and highly professional call handlers who can quickly arrange for units to be deployed, take a crime or intelligence report, offer advice and guidance to queries, or direct calls the appropriate department or person.

The contact centre for West Yorkshire Police handles over 1.25 million calls per year with an average waiting time of less than 30 seconds currently.

The contact centre had seen an increase in caller waiting periods for the non-emergency number at peak times last summer and a number initiatives have been introduced to tackle this and safeguard against future exceptionally busy periods. Although it is important to note that the 999 emergency number service was never really affected.

A crime tracker service was launched late last year which allows victims of crime to securely make a report and track its progress. Crime tracker offers an alternative option to calling the non-emergency number 101 and is available on the homepage of West Yorkshire Police's website: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/crimetracker

The crime tracker service should help to bring down call waiting times for the 101 number while ensuring victims are supported and kept up to date regarding their crime status.

Mr Burns-Williamson said "I have made five promises within my Police and Crime Plan to victims and witnesses including ensuring they get the high quality support and help they need, when they need it, in the way they need it from the right agency.

"The contact centre and the services they offer do exactly that, and I was very impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the staff, as we can all appreciate, it must be an extremely difficult job at times as the demand levels remain fairly constant.

"We have a 97% plus rate of caller satisfaction here in West Yorkshire and that is testament to the hard work of the call handlers. I would personally like to offer my thanks to each member of staff at the centre who help to keep our communities safe 24/7. It was good to visit and talk to a number of the staff in person and understand some of the issues they face when dealing with high call volumes.

 "You can find out about the different ways in which you can contact West Yorkshire Police, including the crime tracker and live chat, here http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contactus"

Tom Donohoe is the West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre Manager and added: "As a Force, we are leading the way in terms of technological innovations and members of the public now have more options than ever before to interact with us.

"This recognition from the Police and Crime Commissioner really reflects the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to provide the best possible service to the public and is very much appreciated by staff in the unit."

"The Local Crime Tracker is proving to be an extremely useful tool and builds upon the success we have already achieved through the introduction of 'live chat', which allows you to communicate directly with the police online.

The on-line services also benefit non-users by helping us to control demand into the unit and reducing telephone queues"

"We continue to look for new and innovative ways to provide a more efficient and effective service that meets the needs of our communities."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018